Beyond the Portrait – coming in June 2018

From June 2018 we will be telling the stories of four women who have been instrumental in shaping Kingston Lacy across 400 years of the estate’s history. 

'Beyond the Portrait' is one of a wide range of events and exhibitions taking place at National Trust properties across the country to commemorate the centenary of women’s suffrage.  It has been developed in response to the National Trust Women and Power programme and aims to mark this important anniversary by exploring and highlighting the sometimes hidden voices, culture, and creativity of the women of the Bankes family across history, and where possible, making contemporary links to women’s roles and empowerment today.

Bringing together fine art, decorative objects and voices from the Bankes Archives held at the Dorset History Centre, 'Beyond the Portrait' in the house at Kingston Lacy will delve into the complex characters of Brave Dame Mary and Frances, Anne and Henrietta Bankes. What is discovered will reveal the influence these women had in shaping Kingston Lacy from the Civil War to the early twentieth century, looking beyond their public image to discover who these women really were and what their lives were like.

The partnership project with the Unlocking the Bankes Archive is enabling Kingston Lacy and Purbeck Estate to create new interpretation based on research into the lives of these four women in the Bankes family – to place these women’s voices at the centre of our story-telling. We hope that part of the legacy of the project will be the foundation of our long-term plan to embed the female perspective into Kingston Lacy and Purbeck’s core story, rebalancing the way we share this history.

More information about ‘Beyond the Portrait’ will follow soon.