For the first time, the renowned collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from Houghton Hall in England travels to the United States. The national tour of Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House opens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Located in Norfolk, northeast of London, Houghton Hall houses one of the most extensive art collections in Britain. Old Master paintings, portraits by famed 18th- and 19th-century artists, exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain, and pieces of legendary furniture chronicle three centuries of art, history, and politics.
Houghton Hall was built by England’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole, in the early 1700s and is the family estate of the marquesses of Cholmondeley. Regarded as one of the finest Palladian houses, Houghton Hall became notorious when Walpole’s collection of Old Master paintings was sold by his grandson to Catherine the Great in 1779. But the house and all of its furnishings remained intact, and Walpole’s descendants added considerably to the collection.
Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House assembles nearly 200 objects in settings that combine paintings, porcelain, sculpture, costume, metalwork, and furniture to evoke the stunning rooms at Houghton Hall. Among the highlights are great family portraits by William Hogarth, Joshua Reynolds, and John Singer Sargent; several dozen pieces of Sèvres porcelain; rare R. J. & S. Garrard silver objects; and unique furniture by William Kent. Following the Houston presentation, the exhibition travels to cities including San Francisco and Nashville.
In-Gallery Extra: Audio Tour
Enhance your exhibition experience with the optional audio tour, available for rental in the lobbies.
Visit houghtonhall.com to explore Houghton Hall's fascinating history and magnificent collection.
Related books are available through The MFAH Shop (713.639.7360) and the Museum's Hirsch Library (713.639.7325).