Walpole’s Treasures and the Russian Arts

Walpole’s Treasures and the Russian Arts

Wednesday 11 September 2013
Pembroke College, Cambridge

An international symposium, organised in collaboration with the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre, to accompany the exhibition
Houghton Revisited: Masterpieces from the State Hermitage at Houghton Hall.

From 17th May to 24th November 2013, Sir Robert Walpole’s magnificent collection, acquired by Empress Catherine II of Russia in 1778, will be reassembled at its original home of Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for the first time in over 200 years. The resulting exhibition comprises Old Master paintings, drawings, prints and silver not only from the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, where the majority of Walpole’s collection resides, but from museums as celebrated as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

To accompany the exhibition, this symposium will present an array of new research on Walpole’s collection, and on Anglo-Russian cultural dialogue in the time of Catherine the Great. Taking advantage of the unique opportunity that the exhibition offers to see one of the eighteenth century’s most famous collections reunited in the Palladian interiors specially designed for it by William Kent, the symposium brings together specialists from Britain and Russia to debate the cultural context that enabled Walpole’s patronage, as well as the nature of the works that he bought. In attending to the artistic sensitivities and priorities of Catherine’s court and the developing cultural sphere of St Petersburg, it will also expose the full impact of Walpole’s collection on Russian soil.

Speakers will include:
Dr Susanna Avery-Quash, The National Gallery
Dr Rosalind P. Blakesley, University of Cambridge
Mr John Harris, Critic
Mr Christopher Hartop, Independent Scholar
Mr John Laycock, Independent Scholar
Dr Andrew Moore, The Attingham Trust
Dr Thierry Morel, Curator, Houghton Revisited
Dr Tessa Murdoch, Victoria and Albert Museum
Dr Frank Salmon, University of Cambridge
Professor Ann Sutherland-Harris, University of Pittsburgh

Download Programme

Please note that entry into the exhibition Houghton Revisited at Houghton Hall is included with registration. All the attendees of the symposium may visit on Tuesday 10th September from 4.30 pm until 6.30pm. Attendees may come earlier to enjoy the gardens and grounds if they wish, but access to the house will only start at 4.30 pm, when the house will be reserved exclusively for the group. Travel to Houghton Hall will not be provided; full details of how to get there are available at http://houghtonrevisited.com/your-visit/

If you have any further questions, please email walpolestreasures@gmail.com

Dr Rosalind Blakesley, Senior Lecturer in History of Art and Fellow of Pembroke College, University of Cambridge
Dr Thierry Morel, Curator, Houghton Revisited: Masterpieces from the State Hermitage at Houghton Hall

The full programme will posted announced shortly.

Download Poster

The exhibition at Houghton Hall will take place from 17 May to 29 September 2013. For more information, please see: Houghton Revisited