BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors
Houghton Hall – King's Lynn
Lavish 18th Century interiors juxtaposed with contemporary outdoor sculpture
When exploring the sprawling, landscaped grounds of Houghton Hall, one of England’s finest Palladian houses, to stumble across a contemporary sculpture feels like a happy accident. The imposing house was built in the 1720s for Great Britain’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole, who put together one of the greatest collections of European art in the country, although later his indebted grandson had to sell the paintings in the collection to Catherine the Great of Russia.
The current owner, Lord David Cholmondeley, is continuing the collecting tradition, with a focus on contemporary outdoor sculpture. The first commission was Skyspace by James Turrell in 2000; works by Anya Gallacio, Zhan Wang, Stephen Cox, Jeppe Hein, Rachel Whiteread and Phillip King were added later. In 2017, British sculptor and Turner Prize winner Richard Long created a remarkable series of stone and slate pieces as part of a major exhibition of his work. These solo exhibition focuses have been followed by artists Damien Hirst (2018), Henry Moore (2019) and Anish Kapoor (2020).
All images courtesy Houghton Hall
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