At Home with Art – Treasures from the Ford Collection at Basildon Park

Basildon Park has an exhibition of art works in the South Pavillion including impressive Old Masters, 20th century engravings and paintings of the Grand Tour.

Sir Brinsley Ford

The collection has been offered to the National Trust on long-term loan by Augustine Ford. It is his share of his father, Sir Brinsley Ford’s considerable and highly respected collection and includes important works of art from Tiepolo to Augustus John. The collection complements the existing works of art at Basildon Park collected by Lord and Lady Iliffe.

Lord and Lady Iliffe

The Iliffes rescued the country estate from ruin in the 1950s and restored the 18th century house, filling it with fine furniture, paintings and fabrics. Visitors have long enjoyed gazing on the rich and varied collection of baroque and rococo pictures at Basildon Park, including a portrait by Batoni and a major work by Madam Valleyer-Coster.

Sir Brinsley’s collection adds an extra dimension along similar themes. He was collecting art at the same time as the Iliffes. They shared a taste for Old Master paintings, paintings of the Grand Tour and the 20th century post-war period. They even used the same auction houses and art dealers such as Colnaghi’s and Agnew’s.

Like the Iliffes, Sir Brinsley was generous in sharing his works of art with the public. He once said:

‘The pleasure of owning a collection, and sharing it with others, fully compensates for the burdens that it entails.’

The Feast of Flora - Georg Platzer, just one of the paintings on display
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The Feast of Flora - Georg Platzer, just one of the paintings on display

In displaying At Home with Art – Treasures from the Brinsley Ford Collection, the National Trust is continuing Basildon Park’s tradition of welcoming you to share in the pleasure of fine art. On a grey Berkshire day, you can lose yourself in a tour of Rome in an afternoon looking on works such as The Colosseum, and the Campo Vaccino by Busiri. 

The exhibition is open from 12pm until 4pm (closed on Wednesdays) in the South Pavilion at Basildon Park. Please note that whilst we strive to open the exhibition as much as we can, as we depend on volunteer availability sometimes the exhibition may be closed to visitors. Please check if the exhibition is open with our Visitor Reception team when you check in.