A busy schedule of deep cleaning is currently underway; we’ve polished, dusted and buffed everything from the floorboards to the spectacular Chippendale State Bed. Next on the list is the Gallery mirrors, which will involve delicate work high up on scaffolding.
We have continued work on improving storage conditions for collections not on display, such as textiles, prints and archives, involving a programme of re-housing and re-labelling. Additionally, textile conservators have been advising us on the conservation of Harewood’s Axminster carpets in the Yellow Drawing Room and Music Room, providing us with the opportunity to photograph for the first time the full length of the Yellow Drawing Room carpet, at 3 metres wide!
We encountered particular interest last year in our iconic portrait of Lady Worsley by Sir Joshua Reynolds, following the screening of a BBC drama, The Scandalous Lady W. Responding to this interest, we are borrowing the historically researched costume used in the programme, to be displayed in the new Information Centre. We hope this will encourage more people to come into the House to see this striking portrait where there will be a small display about Lady Worsley’s fascinating life.
This year the State Floor will be redisplayed to reflect landscape and gardening to celebrate Visit England’s Year of the English Garden and tercentenary of the birth of “Capability” Brown. In the China Room we will exhibit a selection of botanically themed ceramics and we will showcase a range of gardening books and literature from Harewood’s extensive libraries. We are looking forward to welcoming you for another busy season.
Ann Sumner, Historic Collections Advisor