Tagged

explore harewood

Your Photographs

Each year we are privileged to see your wonderful images of Harewood. From striking landscapes and penguins to quiet picnics and big events, your images are a part of Harewood’s history. If you would like to share your images with us our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter are perfect places.

Winter in the Bird Garden and Farm

Harewood House in Yorkshire has a bird garden and farm After a very busy summer season and the late rush of Autumn Glory during the October half term, it has suddenly become very quiet in the Bird Garden and Farm. Zucchini and Zebedee the alpacas have moved to a field on the Estate to give their enclosure on Farm a break. The pygmy goats have also moved with them.

Despite the lack of visitors and Farm animals, the workload has not decreased as we have now entered the busy closed season where we have begun our winter projects. This starts off with clearing all the leaves which have fallen onto the paths, paddocks and even in the penguin pool! No small task.

Several of the aviary sheds and roofs are being repaired or maintained and two aviaries are being completely replaced. We are going to extend the farm animal paddocks onto the South Front which is the large field below the Terrace to allow the farm animals extra room, the rabbits and guinea pigs will be getting new larger outdoor pens and the Chilean flamingos will be getting a new lakeside fence. All in all, there is much work to be done this winter!

If you visited us in the summer holidays you would have met our two young donkeys Lady and Max, who are our two most recent arrivals to the Farm. Since arriving they have settled in well and have become very friendly (although much of that is down to food I suspect!), allowing us to groom them, put them into head collars and lift their front feet for cleaning. We are still working on the back feet!

Another big character you might have already met is Molly our Moluccan cockatoo. Molly is actually a boy, but was originally thought to be female by his owners who very kindly donated him to the Bird Garden earlier in the year. He can be found in the aviary opposite the donkeys where he keeps visitors highly entertained by imitating their laughter and talking to them, as well as showing off his salmon coloured crest.

This year we have had a reasonably good breeding season with another Palm cockatoo chick fledging in October. This species is part of a European wide breeding programme and Harewood Bird Garden is one of the few collections that is successfully breeding them, a fact we are very proud of. It’s down the skill and care that the team and I provide which makes this possible.

The Eurasian eagle owl chicks are now are now the same size as mum and dad and I am currently in the process of finding new homes for the three of them. This species is in fact one of the world’s largest owls with a wing span up to 188cm (6ft 2 in)!

Our pair of brown lorys also laid their first eggs this year and although the chick sadly did not survive it was a promising start for them.

We will have a few new arrivals in the Bird Garden for the upcoming season including two Satyr tragopan, a Nepalese pheasant that will go into our Himalayan aviaries, a female Bali starling which his critically endangered will also be on show. We’re happy to report she has already paired up with our male. I hope to bring in a few more new species in the New Year.

As a licenced zoo, Harewood has a responsibility to support research, education and conservation. Earlier this year we have welcomed two students from Leeds University who carried out a study on the Humboldt penguin colony. They studied the bird’s behaviour and then introduced feeding puzzles containing the penguin’s favourite food (sprats) to assess their foraging capabilities and whether birds learned these skills from one another. They have now finished their study and we are eagerly awaiting the write up and subsequent findings.

Olivier Nesengimana, a Rwandan vet visited Harewood Bird Garden in August and gave our visitors, staff and volunteers an inspiring talk on his project ‘Saving Rwanda’s Crowned Cranes’. We have recently started supporting this project which aims to rescue crowned cranes that have been illegally poached from their native habitat in Rwanda and then rehabilitate them back into the wild. It truly is a fascinating and humbling project. To hear about how one man has made it his mission to conserve and protect this majestic bird is something we will never forget. His drive and determination to motivate the Rwandan people and the authorities is immensely inspiring and we look forward to supporting this project further in 2017.

We hope to team up with Leeds University again and look at other ideas that might help Olivier in his work, such as eco-tourism trips to see wild cranes in Rwanda. Olivier was recently in London for the prestigious Tusk Conservation Awards for which he was a nominee. The event is highly regarded in this field and was attended by the likes of Prince William and Sir David Attenborough. A justified accolade for this project.

Harewood’s Electricity Story

Visit Yorkshire to see rare Georgian chandliers
Science and technology are not topics typically associated with historic houses or their inhabitants. They are often well known for their fine furnishings and great works of art, but it is perhaps quite unusual, and unexpected, to think of them as thriving hubs of technological advancement.

New research undertaken at the University of Leeds has focused on the unique relationship between country houses and the history of innovation and experimentation. With inhabitants who could often afford to invest financially and socially in new and somewhat mysterious technologies, country houses became some of the earliest venues for the installation of electrical appliances. They also exposed its householders (sometimes reluctantly) to the enormous social change and development that these innovations brought with them.

Visit Yorkshire to see Chippendale lights at Harewood

Harewood House Trust, in collaboration with Dr Michael Kay from the University of Leeds, has recently been awarded a grant of £5000 from The Culture Capital Exchange to research and explore the little known story of electrification at Harewood House. Initial research has established a basic timeline of electrification and has already revealed some fascinating stories: from the intriguing routine of Harewood’s Lamp Man to the curious practice of employing electricians to ‘stand by’ during dinner parties.

The first phase of the House’s electrification took place in 1901, commissioned by the 5th Earl of Harewood. Archival evidence shows that there was seemingly fierce competition between early electrical contractors to obtain the job, and the merits and weaknesses of utilising hydropower was carefully considered. The installation of electricity was continued in the early 1930s when the 6th Earl of Harewood and his wife, Princess Mary, moved into Harewood House. The Princess Royal made a specific request for electric lighting in her new dressing room along with other modern conveniences, such as the installation of a lift and the purchase of a Hoover vacuum cleaner was made.

Dr Kay’s interesting research will inform a number of workshop events at Harewood House and the University of Leeds, featuring a short drama performance exploring the story of electrification from the perspective of staff and servants.

Visit Yorkshire to see Below Stairs in the House at Harewood

Join us on the 21 August at Harewood for a day of illuminating activities that will explore the theme of electricity within the House.  You will be able to try your hand at making cup and string telephones in our crafts activity, and also have a go at a new technology trail. Our family friendly drama performance, taking place in the Steward’s Room, will be followed by an opportunity talk to the characters and ask them questions. Participants will then be able to handle some early electrical equipment with Dr Kay and Harewood staff. There will also be a special display of Harewood’s historic light fittings and related archival documentation, both Below Stairs and on the State Floor, as well as a 10 minute Discovery Talk focusing on Dr Kay’s research.

Similar workshops will also be taking place at the University of Leeds on 11 August for Year 5 and 6 pupils from the IntoUniversity charity‘s summer educational programme, and 11 September as part of the Heritage Open Days programme.

Creating an Exhibition

Visit Yorkshire to see exhibitions

I sometimes wonder if people question how an exhibition appears on the walls and what was involved in getting it there. Is it enough just to enjoy (hopefully!) what people see in front of them?

Here at Harewood, we have a series of exhibition spaces where we display works of art. From a dedicated contemporary gallery to the grounds themselves, there are wonderful places throughout which lend themselves to exhibitions.

Creating exhibitions requires a team effort. Working together, we look at the year as a whole to see what might trigger a particular response. Is there a special anniversary or a national ‘year of’ that Harewood could respond to? Do we have items in our collection that could be part of the programme?

The House, the collection, and the landscape are incredibly rich sources of material; the right theme can provide the ideal opportunity to display a particular object or tell a story. Artworks, furniture, documents and textiles are all considered. However making connections between topics and the collection might not always be obvious. We need to create links between artists and genres to complete our exhibition programme.

Harewood’s link with contemporary art continuously influences our exhibition calendar. Each year, we host exhibitions in the Terrace Gallery, which was the first, dedicated contemporary gallery space in an English country house. Opened in 1989, artists including Antony Gormley and Sir Sidney Nolan have presented works here.

To create a contemporary response to our chosen topic, we begin by researching artists. Which artist’s work offers a connection with our chosen topic? What techniques are they using? Will our audience be challenged?

Once selected, we invite the chosen artist to Harewood so that they can get a feel for the place, meet the team, and begin exploring ideas. It’s a very exciting time! Connecting the chosen topic with the artist’s vision can take several months, and may involve many creative discussions.

Exhibitions using works created by deceased artists are often the most complex. Multiple requests to loan their work are needed, permissions from the artist’s estate, and condition reports on each object may be required.

How the final exhibition is presented forms a significant part of the curatorial process. As the exhibition layout is designed, we discuss the best way to coherently and attractively present the works so that they have the strongest impact. This can include how a work is framed or how an object is displayed.

Whilst preparing the layout, we work with graphic designers to complete any interpretive requirements. Sometimes these can be straightforward with simple panels and titles needed. In other cases, more design work is required to give an exhibition a clear identity.

2016 is the tercentenary of the birth of Lancelot “Capability” Brown.  The Capability Brown Festival is the first-ever nationwide celebration of this eminent landscape designer. Boasting 1000 acres of “Capability” Brown designed landscape, Harewood represents one of his most important designs. The grade 1 listed parkland has remained unchanged since it was created in the late 18th century. With soft, rolling hills and mature, established tree lines, visitors can experience the idyllic, picturesque views “Capability” Brown imagined for Harewood in the 1760s. It is this story which has inspired the 2016 exhibition programme.

Over a year of planning and programming completed. The results of the process are below:

The Art of Landscape and North and South, 25th March – 30th October
Watercolour Rooms

Using artworks from Harewood’s collection, this exhibition shows the unchanged vistas of the “Capability” Brown design. Watercolours by JMW Turner, painted in 1797, can be seen alongside early photographs captured by Roger Fenton in 1860. Watch a film by Simon Warner following the original carriage route created by Brown on horseback. Read more

Look, Touch and Listen
Gardens
Explore Harewood’s landscape with your senses in a self-guided tour of the grounds.

Shade into Shade, 25th March – 24th July
Terrace Gallery

Imaginative photography by Finnish artist, Jorma Puranen provides a contemporary take on the landscape. This exhibition includes images of Harewood’s parkland and the lake. Jorma takes photographs of a reflection rather than the actual subject itself. The result is a mysterious, painterly, shimmering quality which shows the Brownian views in a new way. Read more

Great Capabilities Week, 4th – 12th June
In the landscape
Join one of our expert talks in the landscape and explore unspoiled parkland. Learn, garden, photograph and taste your way through the Grade 1 listed grounds. Read more
Places are limited 

a grove of delight, 30th July – 30th October
Terrace Gallery

Through words and images, the Scottish poet Thomas A. Clark will transform the Terrace Gallery into a grove, a space of quiet, of shade and reflection, set aside from the light and openness of Capability Brown’s landscape garden. Read more

By Nicola Stephenson, Exhibitions and Projects Producer

Explore the Himalayan Garden at Harewood House

The Himalayan Garden at Harewood is a marvelous place to explore during spring. The bright colours of the rhododendrons, the fresh green leaves in the trees create a wonderful atmosphere which is a complete contrast to the formal Terraces which Harewood is best known for. It’s a place which includes a massive variety of naturalised planting which has matured since it’s creation in 2007. Here are a few highlights visitors to the garden can enjoy now.