Harewood House Develops Exciting New Film Tourism Offer

Visit Harewood House to see ITV's Victoria costume

To coincide with English Tourism Week (25th March – 2nd April 2017), Harewood House in Yorkshire will launch an exciting series of exhibitions hoping to capitalise on the increasing demand from visitors to see film and TV locations.

Harewood House was used as a major set for ITV’s blockbuster series ‘Victoria’ and the exhibition, titled Victorian Harewood, will present an impressive collection of costumes from series one, including the iconic Coronation dress worn by actress Jenna Coleman who plays Queen Victoria. Visitors will also be able to see many of the rooms used in the series which transformed Harewood House into Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace.

‘Victoria’ has been broadcast in over 100 countries around the world, and the impact on Harewood House’s visitor figures will become clear after Harewood opens on 24th March 2017. With series two of ‘Victoria’ currently being filmed at Harewood House, David Lascelles, Earl of Harewood and fourth generation grandson of Queen Victoria, commented:

“There are always new stories to tell about Harewood and the success of ITV’s ‘Victoria’ gives us the chance to bring that era here to life – something we’ve never really done before. It’s great to be able to link a successful TV show with our own history in this way and I hope it will bring new audiences as well as giving something different for our faithful and much valued members.”

As part of Victorian Harewood, personal objects, letters and archive material from Harewood’s collection including Queen Victoria’s writing set, a pocket watch given to Victoria for her birthday from her mother and a rare book of etchings made by Victoria and Albert will be shown.

The exhibition also includes a fascinating, contemporary response by modern-day artists. The Empire Line presents contemporary photography by Gavin Fernandes, using fashion photography to look at narratives of race, culture, history and the Victorian Empire.

In addition, a selection of 21st century re-interpretations of the Victorian bust from artist Kathy Dalwood’s Secret Society series will be displayed in the China Room. Instead of sculpting in clay or stone the busts are made by direct casting from real things and found objects which are collaged together, moulded and cast in plaster.

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Collection of etchings by Victoria and Albert go on public display for the first time

Personal etchings by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were the subject of a ground-breaking privacy court case brought by the royal couple against a journalist in 1848.

Visit Yorkshire to see rare Victorian works at Harewood House

A book of etchings belonging to Harewood House will go on display for the first time in a major exhibition titled ‘Victorian Harewood’ (24 March – 29 October 2017). The exhibition features costumes from the ITV blockbuster series ‘Victoria’, which used Harewood House as a location standing in for both Buckingham and Kensington Palaces.

Visit Harrogate to see art made by Queen Victoria at Harewood House

Gifted to Princess Mary (daughter of King George V and wife to the 6th Earl of Harewood) on her wedding day from a descendant of Prince Albert’s private secretary, the book of 75 personal etchings of the royal couple’s children, pets, and each other, feature handwritten annotations by HRH Queen Victoria. It will go on display alongside beautiful objects owned by Queen Victoria including her pocket watch and writing set.

We spent a delightful, peaceful morning – singing after breakfast, and etching together”.
Queen Victoria, Friday 28th August, 1840.

Victoria and Albert were taught to paint by legendary artists Edwin Landseer and George Hayter. In 1848 Jasper Judge, a reporter, got hold of copies of the etchings via a print maker in London and threatened to publish them.

Visit Leeds to see art works by Victoria and Albert at Harewood

Prince Albert and Queen Victoria immediately sought legal advice and launched lawsuits and injunctions attempting to ban the display and protect his family’s privacy. These actions led to the first super injunction taking place; the Prince and Queen were successful and the display and never took place. Seen as the first injunction of its kind to protect the privacy and image of a high profile person, the actions of Victoria and Albert are now familiar in today’s celebrity world.

After the case, Barrister Sir J. Knight Bruce, noted that the printmaker’s actions had been “an intrusion not alone in breach of conventional rules, but offensive to that inbred sense of propriety natural to every man – if, intrusion indeed, fitly describes a sordid spying into the privacy of domestic life – into the home (a word hitherto scared among us)”. The case remains a defining judgement in the development of the law of copyright.

Professor Ann Sumner, Historic Collections Advisor at Harewood House explains, “This book of etchings is incredibly rare. It is a beautiful and personal collection by the royal couple who were known for protecting their privacy. It shows a beautiful insight not only into the private lives of Victoria and Albert and their family, but also the real talent that they both had for art.”

Sebastiano del Piombo, ‘Portrait of a Lady’ Returns to Harewood after 40 years

Visit Harewood in Yorkshire to see renaissance works by Sebastiano-del-Piombo

Sebastiano del Piombo’s ‘Portrait of a Lady’ returns to Harewood House for the first time in over 40 years

About the Artist

The Venetian painter Sebastiano del  Piombo (1485 – 1547) probably trained under Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione. In 1511 he left Venice for Rome, where the High Renaissance was flourishing. His work was influenced initially by Raphael, but he later met and began collaborating with Michelangelo. That partnership is currently the subject of an exhibition at the National Gallery in London – Michelangelo and Sebastiano until 25 June.

About the Lady

The painting most probably represents an idealized Venetian woman. It is closely related to another work in the Museo del Arte de Cataluna, Barcelona, which differs in background details and setting. There are also two other versions closer to the Harewood original, representing St Lucy, with the eyes of the sitter reflected in the cup. The Harewood painting may represent St Lucy but there is no evidence of reflected eyes in the cup here.

It has recently been suggested that the sitter is Vittoria Colonna, a renowned writer and member of the wealthy and powerful Colonna family, shown as Artemesia, a goddess associated with death, being in mourning for her young  husband Ferrante d’Avalos, Marchese of Pescara.  He died from wounds sustained at the Battle of Pavia in 1525.  This battle was one of the most important in Italian history, as Charles V and the Spanish forces overwhelmed the French and captured Francis I, whose portrait attributed to Titian, can be seen in the Gallery at Harewood.

About the Collector

Sebastiano’s paintings were popular in Britain from the early 19th century.  Portrait of a Lady was acquired by Henry George Charles Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood, an outstanding collector of Venetian Old Master paintings and drawings in the early 20th century.  His collection was formed predominantly between the years 1917 to 1927, when he was advised by Tancred Borenius, a Finnish art historian.  The Portrait of a Lady, formerly in the collection of the Earl of Elgin of Broomhall in Fife, was an early purchase and was in the possession of Lord Lascelles by 1917, when he had the work conserved. The painting was originally hung at the Lascelles London home, Chesterfield House and, following the sale of that house, was moved to Harewood in the 1930s. By the 1950s, it hung in the Rose Drawing Room

The painting goes on display for the first time in over forty years on 24 March 2017 and has recently been especially conserved.

The National Gallery exhibition opens to the public on 15 March 2017.

Visit Harewood to see Sebastiano del Piombo art

Victorian Harewood – Contemporary Response to an Era

Harewood House, the main location for ITV’s blockbuster series Victoria, opens its magnificent doors on 24 March with an exhibition entitled Victorian Harewood.

The exhibition offers three contemporary art exhibitions influenced by Victorian Harewood alongside a close up view of the stunning costumes worn by many characters of Victoria, and a chance to see Harewood’s magnificent rooms, many of which are used as sets for the epic period drama.

credit Gavin Fernandes

The Empire Line is an exhibit of contemporary photography, by the photographer Gavin Fernandes, which will be shown in the Steward’s Room. The striking series takes fashion photography to look deeper at narratives of race, culture, history and the Victorian Empire.

credit Kathy Dalwood

A selection of 21st century re-interpretations of the Victorian bust by artist Kathy Dalwood from her Secret Society series will go in the China Room cupboards. Instead of sculpting in clay or stone the busts are made by direct casting from real things and found objects which are collaged together, moulded and cast in plaster.

Artist Steve Manthorp’s exquisitely detailed The Haunted Doll’s House based on M.R James classic ghost story of the same name, will go on display in The Old Library.

Sculptor Kathy Dalwood comments:

“As a child, I moved to Leeds because my father, sculptor Hubert Dalwood, was offered a Gregory Fellowship at Leeds University (a programme which invited artists and writers to be part of the creative community in Leeds).  My father had a very active role in the artistic community.   Leeds City Art Gallery and the Hepworth, Wakefield both hold his work in their collections.

My father was very much a landscape enthusiast so we often went on picnic day trips to the surrounding countryside and the Dales.  We usually drove via Harewood village but the house itself seemed remote, inaccessible and otherworldly   to me as a child.   Fast forward several decades and I finally get to see inside the spectacular edifice of my childhood imaginings – along with my sculpture!  The proposal to exhibit at Harewood felt like a way of reconnecting with Yorkshire,  with my father  and his work,  with my childhood and upbringing  and I am absolutely delighted that this particular collection of work – the plaster busts – allowed this serendipitous invitation to come my way.”

Nicola Stephenson, Exhibition Producer from Harewood House adds: “The juxtaposition of these three art collections really brings our house alive. They present questions to the viewer and pull you into curious stories, bringing the history and Victorian era sharply into a new focus.”

Examining our rare Axminster Carpet in preparation for conservation

Visit Yorkshire to see rare Axminster Carpets

Harewood House is well known for its outstanding art collections. Each object requires care and attention to manage and conserve it; from smaller items such as clocks and porcelain to the huge, intricate Robert Adam ceilings, every single part of the collection must be cared for and maintained.

Harewood’s Yellow Drawing Room carpet is centuries old and has survived for over 200 years. This particular carpet is one of only eight in existence which are still housed in the original Robert Adam design scheme making it an important object to protect and conserve. This is a complex carpet with needlepatch repairs and discolouration in places – while the pile has worn away the knots have survived well. It is a heavy textile which takes a great deal of specialist care to move. This winter, a team of textile experts from across Britain have been looking at the carpet in more detail. May Berkouwer, Textile Conservator and Consultant led the work supported by Dr Crosby Stevens (Textile Conservator).

In order for the conservators to have the space to fully inspect the carpet, it was necessary to move it into the Gallery, the most spacious room in Harewood House. First of all, the carpet had to be carefully rolled, moved and turned over. With age, textiles can dry out which causes the fibres to become brittle. This means that any movement has the potential to cause damage. Under the watchful eye of May Berkouwer, a team of 10 Harewood staff slowly, inch by inch, rolled the carpet for transportation before repeating the process, unrolling it again so that the carpet could be mapped right side up and from the reverse.

By mapping the carpet, the conservators will be able to assess not only the repairs but also the lining and what conservation work is needed to preserve this fascinating textile. A grid pattern was created with over 35 sections by May Berkouwer and her colleague Crosby Stevens. Each section was photographed and reviewed enabling a full spectrum of damage to be assessed and a complete record of previous restoration attempts to be compiled, creating a historical chronology for the carpet. Vacuuming took place and dust samples were taken and fastness tests carried out to test resistance of fibres to eventual treatments.

The results of the final report will start to help Harewood answer important questions about the carpets future and enable us to make curatorial decisions, with expert advice, as we apply for funding to cover the cost of conservation.

This year we will open with the carpet rolled with an update for visitors on the progress we have made researching the carpet.

See a time lapse of the carpet being rolled on our YouTube Channel