For the first time since 1842, the outstanding collection of sculptures, furniture, paintings and other curiosities belonging to Horace Walpole will be reassembled in a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition at Twickenham’s Strawberry Hill. The collection was famously dispersed all over the world following its sale. However, beginning on 20 October, this exhibition, sponsored by J. Stern & Co, will allow the public to experience some of the 18th century’s most famous collections including work by Hans Holbein, Joshua Reynolds and Anthony Van Dyck all in the same place.
Recognised as the most important British collector of the 18th century, Horace Walpole, son of Britain’s first Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole, was also the author of ‘Anecdotes of Painting’, the first book on British art history. He then created Strawberry Hill between 1747 and 1797, a classic gothic mansion of exceptional historic significance, acknowledged as the birthplace of the revival of 18th century’s gothic architecture. Strawberry Hill was filled with a lifetime’s worth of collected artwork and artefacts and was hugely popular amongst the 18thcentury public. The exhibition will be the only place today that we can see the collections as Walpole originally intended – A ‘unique and unparalleled opportunity to see Walpole’s objects in the glorious and atmospheric settings at Strawberry Hill’, says Michael Snodin, Chair of Strawberry Hill Collection Trust.
In 1842’s 28-day ‘sale of the century’, Walpole’s collection was dispersed worldwide and only in the 1920s was the collection partly re-assembled by Walpole scholar and consummate collector Wilmarth S.Lewis, including many original pieces from Strawberry Hill. These pieces, along with detailed descriptions in the rooms of the villa left by Walpole himself, will be key features of this exhibition. A must-see event for history and art lovers, the Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill is set to be a momentous and well-put-together exhibition.
Strawberry Hill, 268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham TW1 4ST
20 October 2018 – 24 February 2019
General entry, public and private tours available at strawberryhillhouse.org.uk