The Ballroom at Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent. © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

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Ham House study day, and Lely at Middle Temple, by Lesley Whitelaw

The November visit to Ham House more than lived up to the very high standard of study days arranged by Understanding British Portraits. Once more the combination of excellent expert speakers covering a wide range of relevant topics, a superb venue and seamless organisation, made for a thoroughly fascinating and enjoyable day. I am very […]

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Art Detective: learning more about British portraits by Dr Marion Richards

‘The National Portrait Exhibition having led to the exposure of so many errors with regard to the portraits of British worthies and the artists who painted them – it turning out in many cases that the names given were in both respects altogether wrong – it has been suggested that county magnates and others interested […]

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‘The Twins’: Creating a Resource for Research, by Kate Noble and Lucy Shipp

In 2016 we were very fortunate to be awarded funding from the Understanding British Portraits Professional Partnership Fellowship to research The Twins by John Everett Millais and create a learning resource for young people. We hoped that our project would help to reveal more about the role of women in the Victorian age, whose stories have for many years only been told […]

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Stories from the Studio: the Redding Photographic Studio Portraits by Catherine Shanahan

In 2000 Rugby Art Gallery and Museum acquired a collection from Reddings, a local photographer’s studio, containing around 25,000 glass plate and cellulose acetate negatives dating from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s. Predominately studio portraits, the collection also contains negatives of local businesses, product shots, local events and weddings. Largely due to lack of resource […]

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Lace for Lady Anne Clifford by Gilian Dye

Sixteenth and seventeenth century portraits are a wonderful resource for lace historians. Two types of lace evolved during the sixteenth century: needle lace and bobbin lace. Needle lace, as the name suggests, is a form of free embroidery, worked with a needle and a single thread, while bobbin lace is a combination of plaiting and […]

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Copying the Fanshawes: An investigation into the replicas found within the Fanshawe portrait collection at Valence House Museum, by Leeanne Westwood

In 2016 a portrait, identified as Elizabeth Fanshawe (1609-1668), née Cockayne, came up for sale at a well-known auction house (left).  This portrait bore an uncanny resemblance to the female sitter in a small double portrait of Sir Thomas Fanshawe and his second wife Elizabeth, née Fanshawe at Valence House (below). A visit to Melbourne […]

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