An Afternoon at the Frick Collection

Want to spend some time looking at art in a place that’s just as beautiful as the paintings, sculpture and decorative arts that are on display inside? Then the Frick Collection should definitely be on your list of places to visit! Held in a gilded age mansion on Fifth Avenue, it makes for a wonderful…

Belton House: A Celebration of Creative Women

2018 is a special year in British Women’s History: it marks the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, when, for the first time, some women were eligible to vote. This moment in history has provided the opportunity for many heritage sites and organisations to reflect on the stories of women and their achievements:…

Dynastic Strategist, Architectural Patroness and Businesswoman: Bess of Hardwick

Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury by Unknown Artist, probably 17th century based on a work c.1590, oil on canvas (on display Montacute House, NPG 203) Elizabeth Talbot, or, as she is more commonly known, Bess of Hardwick, was born into a Derbyshire gentry family that became increasingly impoverished and subjected her childhood to hardships, but…

A Venetian Palazzo in Boston: the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

A museum created out of the pursuit of pleasure and left behind for public enjoyment and education. Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Museum in Boston is a really unique and wonderful place which arguably, almost a century since she died, Isabella still exerts a certain control over. When she left the museum behind, along with an endowment…

Tudor, Medieval, Art Deco: Old meets New at Eltham Palace

A friend once told me about a country house, just outside London, which was the childhood home of Henry VIII but had also been transformed into an Art Deco masterpiece in the early twentieth century. I found this really hard to visualise – it’s such a clash of different styles! Recently I was fortunate enough…

Portraits, carvings and Pemberley: Sudbury Hall

Sudbury Hall will always be one of my favourite country houses to visit as it is so close to home (it is another lovely Derbyshire country house), so I have very vivid memories of visiting (including a school trip when I was five in which I fell in love with this 1920 portrait of Violet,…

Michelangelo and Lines of Thought 

I couldn't miss a chance to write a blog post about Michelangelo for his birthday (good luck fitting 542 candles on a cake!) but also because we had the fortune to have two Michelangelo drawings on campus as part of the Lines of Thought British Museum travelling exhibition, which is now on its way to…