A home of great art

Portrait of unknown, bearded man, painted by Titian

Experience a theatrical transformation of Ickworth’s collection with a new House exhibition created by design collective The Decorators, working with lighting designers Studio Dekka. Ickworth’s biggest ever roof conservation project to protect the grand Rotunda and all its treasures within has given us the opportunity to celebrate some of Ickworth’s finest collection items. Join us as we embrace the newly darkened interior with an innovative new exhibition.

Ickworth stands at an important moment in its history. ‘Ickworth Uncovered’ - a year- long conservation project is well underway with scaffolding encasing the entire Rotunda to secure the building for the future, by mending leaks and re-slating the domed roof. 

With the scaffolding comes darkness within the Rotunda and gives an opportunity for a new exhibition space for a contemporary experience of the dramatic setting and collections. The exhibition is in keeping with the spirit of the Earl Bishop’s vision of an eccentric and theatrical space at Ickworth- impressing visitors and complementing his awe-inspiring art collection. 

" Ickworth Uncovered and the new house exhibition is a real moment in time in Ickworth’s history. We have been given a chance to create a highly theatrical and dramatic conflict, embracing the newly-found darkness that scaffolding around the Rotunda brings, without compromising Ickworth’s beauty. Even if you are familiar with this extraordinary place, you will see things that you have never noticed before. "
- Xavi Llarch-Font, Director of The Decorators

The Decorators is a design collective founded by Suzanne O’Connell, Xavi Llarch Font, Carolina Caicedo and Mariana Pestana in 2011. With backgrounds in landscape architecture, interior architecture, curation and psychology, they work on spatial design projects that aim to reconnect the physical elements of a place with its social dimension. Previous work includes working with local authorities, museums such as the Tate Modern and public landscapes.

Studio Dekka is an interdisciplinary design practice specialising in urban and architectural lighting. It was founded by directors Chantelle Stewart and John Harrison in 2009 with an aim to develop sensitive and intelligent lighting environments that unlock new possibilities for the varied and meaningful life of places. 

" We are incredibly excited to be working with The Decorators and Studio Dekka as they help Ickworth to present an experience which highlights the importance of our conservation work and celebrates the architecture and treasures within. Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, visitors will be able to see completely transformed spaces showcasing some of the finest of our collection. "
- Chloe Woodrow, House and Collections Manager

The exhibition uses lighting and scaffolding to amplify Ickworth’s collection. Key works of art, including paintings, ceramics, silver and textiles will be featured in new ways. Featured in the new exhibition will be Titian’s 'Portrait of an Unknown Man' and Vigée Le Brun’s 'Self Portrait; a Doccia ceramic fountain and two Dogs of Fo and a recently-acquired silver toilet mirror commissioned by the 3rd Earl of Bristol in 1777; in addition to sedan chairs, swords, harmony books and miniatures.

Self-portrait by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, 1791 / Ickworth NT 851782
Self-portrait Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Bru
Self-portrait by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, 1791 / Ickworth NT 851782
" As part of the process we held workshops with our staff and volunteers from across the property to discuss their favourite items and what they meant to them. It was an eye-opening experience, and The Decorators help us look even deeper at our collection and how we feel about it. We hope this extends to our visitors and welcome everyone to see Ickworth in a wholly new way this January"
- Chloe Woodrow, House and Collections Manager

See it for yourself daily until end of October 2020