Attingham Offerings for 2020

Posted in opportunities by Editor on December 21, 2019

Francis Wheatley, The Earl of Aldborough Reviewing Volunteers at Belan House, County Kildare, 1782 (later changes ca.1787 and extended ca.1810), oil on canvas, 155 × 265 cm (National Trust, Waddesdon Manor, bequeathed by James de Rothschild, 1957).

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Next year’s Attingham offerings:

The Attingham Study Programme: The Historic House in Ireland, 3–11 June 2020
Applications due by 27 January 2020

This intensive nine-day study programme will examine the Irish country house and its wider estate, in the context of its changing ownership and presentation. Some visits will focus on houses with original decorative schemes and collections, allowing members to study the unique features of Irish design, while others will look at houses as the setting for outdoor and leisure pursuits.

The programme’s first base will be the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates at the University of Maynooth, from where it is planned to visit Carton House and Castletown House, both significant Palladian villas, whose interior decoration was conceived by the Lennox sisters; the latter complemented by a series of rare estate buildings and monuments. We will also explore the Casino at Marino, Newbridge House, and Leixlip Castle, Co. Kildare, bought by the Hon. Desmond Guinness in 1958, and from where the Irish Georgian Society was founded.

The course will travel south to Cork through Waterford via Monksgrange House in Co. Wexford, where Irish Arts and Crafts furniture was made in the 1920s and which has a delightful ‘Lutyenesque’ garden. There will also be a short visit to the Dunbrody Famine Ship at New Ross which carried thousands of emigrants to North America in the 1840s. From Cork the Neo-Classical interiors at Fota House will be explored, as well as the romantic waterside retreat of Bantry House on the south-west coast. We also plan to visit Curraghmore, home of the Marquess of Waterford, whose ancestors arrived in 1170, and Lismore Castle, the seat of the Devonshires in Ireland.

The study programme will be directed by Elizabeth Jamieson and will include visits to other privately-owned houses as well those listed. It will be supported by a series of lectures and seminars delivered by expert speakers. The course will start and finish in the historic city of Dublin.

69th Attingham Summer School, 2–19 July 2020
Applications due by 27 January 2020

The 69th Attingham Summer School, an 18-day residential course directed by David Adshead and Tessa Wild, will visit country houses in Sussex, Oxfordshire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire, and Norfolk. From West Dean, our first base, we will study, among other houses and gardens: the complex overlays of Arundel Castle, the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Norfolk; Petworth House, where the patronage of great British artists such as Turner and Flaxman enrich its Baroque interiors; Uppark, a Grand Tour house; Standen, an Arts and Crafts reinterpretation of the country house.

In the Midlands a series of related houses will be examined: Hardwick Hall, unique among Elizabethan houses for its survival of late 16th-century decoration and contents; Bolsover Castle, a Jacobean masque setting frozen in stone; and Chatsworth, where the collections and gardens of the Dukes of Devonshire span more than four centuries. Other highlights include the superb collections and landscaped gardens at Boughton House, ‘the English Versailles’; Calke Abbey, with its left ‘as found’ interiors; and the crisp neo-Classical Kedleston Hall.

Based in Norwich, the final part of the course will explore the estates and collections of Norfolk, a coastal county of rich contrasts and exceptional houses.  Our itinerary will include Blickling, the fine Jacobean house of Sir Henry Hobart and later of the Earls of Buckingham, renowned for its Long Gallery and superb book collection; Felbrigg Hall, a 17th-century house with important Grand Tour collections and mid 18th-century interiors by James Paine; Houghton Hall, the great Palladian country seat of Sir Robert Walpole the first ‘Prime Minister’, with its unrivaled work by William Kent; and Sheringham Park, a favorite work of Humphry Repton, for which he produced one of his famous Red Books. 

Throughout the course, lectures, seminars, and discussions will be held on all aspects of the country house including conservation and restoration, display and interpretation. Several private houses and collections will also be visited.

Royal Collection Studies, 6–15 September 2020
Applications due by 7 February 2020

Directed by Rebecca Lyons and run on behalf of Royal Collection Trust, this strenuous 10-day course is based near Windsor and will visit royal palaces in and around London with specialist tutors (many from the Royal Collection Trust) and study the patronage and collecting of the Royal Family.

From College Library to Country House, 14–18 September 2020
Applications due by 12 February 2020

From College Library to Country House is conceived from the perspective of the British aristocracy and gentry whose education centered upon preparing to run the country estate, including house and collections, and will argue for the importance of the library and the book collection in this process. This intensive residential course is based in the exceptional surroundings of Clare College in the center of the University of Cambridge. Directed by Andrew Moore, the programme focuses upon a series of iconic libraries including those at Houghton Hall and Holkham Hall.

French Eighteenth-Century Studies at the Wallace Collection, 5–9 October 2020
Applications due by 25 February 2020

Directed by Helen Jacobsen, this 5-day non-residential program aims to foster a deeper knowledge and understanding of French 18th-century fine and decorative art. Based at the Wallace Collection with one full study day at Waddesdon Manor this course is intended primarily to aid professional development with object-based study.

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