Chatsworth and the Devonshire Collection - A lecture by Matthew Hirst
| Royal College of Physicians Hall
Matthew Hirst became Head of Arts and Historic Collections at Chatsworth in July 2007, and is responsible for the management of all the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth and elsewhere. A decorative art specialist with a particular interest in the 18 and 19 century interiors and furnishings, he was previously Curator for seven years at Waddesdon Manor, the Rothschild family mansion in Buckinghamshire.
The Devonshire Collection, amassed over five centuries, and Chatsworth - the 'Palace of the Peak' - represent a rich and diverse record of taste built up by fourteen generations of the Cavendish family. The collection includes works of art spanning two thousand years, with antique sculpture, works by Renaissance masters and contemporary pieces by artists such as Lucien Freud, Sir Jacob Epstein and Angela Conner. In 2008 a major programme of extensive restoration to the fabric of the building and a renewal of essential services began at Chatsworth; at the same time much of the collection is being conserved and redisplayed, and the visitor route expanded. Matthew Hirst's lecture will examine the beginnings of the Devonshire Collection and the creation of Chatsworth, charting its history and development to the present day.