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, later works by Richard Long, Anya Gallacio, Zhan Wang, Stephen Cox, Jeppe Hein and Rachel Whiteread were added. For the summer of 2015 Turrell returned to create a site-specific light work to illuminate the west-facing façade of the house as part of a major exhibition of his work.
Anne Reimers is a London-based art historian and journalist, reporting since 2006 on art auctions, fairs, and exhibitions in the British capital. She is also Senior Lecturer for Visual Culture and Fashion Theory at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in Rochester, England.
All images courtesy Houghton Hall
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