Visitors to Temple Newsam House can take a seat this week for a journey through 300 years of the estate’s beautiful landscapes.
To mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of renowned designer Lancelot Capability Brown, the house will be launching a new exhibition entitled Visioning the Landscape- Temple Newsam 1622-1922.
As part of the exhibition, which runs from March 25 until October 30, benches will be placed at strategic points throughout the house’s 43 rooms, giving visitors a chance to enjoy stunning views while surrounded by the museum’s outstanding collections.
As they ascend through the house, visitors will arrive at the exhibition display itself, which will feature fine art, ceramics, textiles and a 3D model of Capability Brown’s proposed alterations to Temple Newsam.
Visitors will also be able to take in a breath-taking panorama of the estate during a series of rooftop tours and even join in with a 300th birthday party for Capability Brown on August 30.
Rachel Conroy, curator at Temple Newsam, said: “The landscape at Temple Newsam has evolved over the centuries to reflect some of the unique characters who have lived here and today, the house, gardens and parkland all combine to tell the story of the estate.
“This exhibition charts three hundred years of change and explores different ways the landscape at Temple Newsam was transformed by the vision of artistic designers like Capability Brown.
“We have some of the most beautiful views in Leeds here and that’s testament to the imagination and creativity of those who have left their mark on Temple Newsam through the ages.”
The story of Temple Newsam’s landscapes began with the first owner Sir Arthur Ingram, who rebuilt the house and estate from 1622 onwards.
Later generations wanted to look out over rolling landscapes which were more of a work of art, and employed specialist designers to bring their vision to life.
The most famous creator and designer of these types of landscape was Capability Brown, who made a plan for ‘intended alterations’ at Temple Newsam in 1762.
Some ‘Brownifications’ were finished, but the plan for Temple Newsam was never completed because of the death of Charles, the 9th Viscount in 1778.
His wife, Frances, lost heart following her husband's death and the project was largely abandoned around halfway through.
Some work did continue in the decades after Frances’s death, such as the walled gardens, the rhododendron walks and shrubberies which can still be seen today.
Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “Temple Newsam is one of the most beautiful locations in Leeds and it will be very interesting to get more of an insight into how it came to be the stunning place we know and love today.
“Exploring the history of the landscape and how it came to be will, I’m sure, give visitors a whole new perspective on somewhere that is such an integral part of the city’s cultural heritage.”
Visioning the Landscape- Temple Newsam 1622-1922 will also include a programme of events and activities to support the exhibition.
The programme will see members of the Yorkshire branches of the embroiderers guild working in the house as artists in residence.
A special dance project will see local dance groups and people from the local community create a choreographed walk, funded by the Capability Brown festival,
And Yorkshire’s own landscape artist Ashley Jackson will be attending for a painting demonstration on August 4.
For more details, please visit: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/Pages/Visioning-the-landscape.aspx
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