Step inside Ickworth | a home of great art
You may have visited last year, before the pandemic, and experienced a theatrical transformation of Ickworth’s collection with our house exhibition created by design collective The Decorators, working with lighting designers Studio Dekka. Sadly, the project was cut short, however, we’re very excited to have reopened the exhibition, which runs until October.
Open daily* | 11am – 3pm (last entry)
*There may be days when we're unable to open certain rooms due to conservation work and resources.
An innovative exhibition
In 2019-20, Ickworth’s biggest ever roof conservation project was undertaken to protect the grand Rotunda and all its treasures. With the roof wrapped in 270 miles of scaffold, the house was in complete darkness, which gave an opportunity for a new contemporary experience, celebrating some of Ickworth’s finest collection items.
The exhibition is in keeping with the spirit of the Earl Bishop’s vision for a home of great art, to bring paintings to life and get up close to the collection, to understand and appreciate these awe-inspiring and timeless pieces.
A journey from darkness to light
On arrival to the house, you’ll be greeted by one of our Hosts, who will welcome you and explain a little bit about the exhibition. Starting in our darkened entrance hall, you’ll then move between the spaces, following the daylight up through the house, where the roof will reveal itself in its sunlit glory.
" Ickworth Uncovered is a real moment in time in Ickworth’s history. We have been given a chance to create a highly theatrical and dramatic conflict without compromising Ickworth’s beauty. Even if you are familiar with this extraordinary place, you will see things that you have never noticed before."
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. Highlights of the exhibition range from Titian’s 'Portrait of an Unknown Man' and Vigée Le Brun’s 'Self Portrait' to a Doccia ceramic fountain and Mary Nesbitt’s mirror, recently acquired as part of the silver collection having been commissioned by the 3rd Earl of Bristol in 1777 for his mistress.
You'll be able to uncover even more Treasures when you visit, and discover the stories behind these newly displayed collection pieces.
" 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."
- The safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff remains our top priority.
- Face coverings are recommended in enclosed, crowded areas.
- We'll continue to provide hand sanitiser and stick to our high standards of cleanliness.
- If you're showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you've been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 10 days, please don't visit.
- Our hosts will welcome you at the front of the Rotunda for your house visit, explaining the route and providing a brief introduction. Please be prepared to wait outside whilst we manage visitors through spaces.
- Whilst we will endeavour to open as much as possible, there may be days when we’re unable to open certain rooms due to conservation work and resources. Please bear with us.
- Accessible routes are available, please speak to a member of team on arrival.
- Lift access is available in the house, please speak to one of our storytellers for support.
- If you have come to see a specific room or item from the collection, please speak to a member of the team, and we’ll do our best to make this possible.
- We’re unable to have buggies in the house, so please leave them outside or return to your car before entering the house.