This study day focussed on the rich portrait collection at Hardwick Hall, the outstanding Elizabethan home built by ‘Bess’ of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury. Hardwick is celebrated as a tour de force in Elizabethan stately architecture and interior planning, and is home to a remarkable historic textile and furniture collections. This event highlighted the portraits which were first commission and collected by the formidable Countess of Shrewsbury and her heirs, including the 6th Duke of Devonshire whose impact on the presentation of the fine and decorative art collection in the nineteenth century can still be felt at Hardwick Hall.

Hardwick study day 1 March 2016 – programme

David Taylor, Curator of Pictures and Sculpture, National Trust.


Dr Tarnya Cooper, Curatorial Director, National Portrait Gallery (paper delivered by Dr Charlotte Bolland, Collections Curator 16th Century, National Portrait Gallery)


Charlotte Bolland, Collections Curator 16th Century, National Portrait Gallery (co-researched by Dr Edward Town, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Yale Center for British Art)


Catharine MacLeod, Senior Curator 17th Century Collections, National Portrait Gallery


Christopher Rowell, Furniture Curator, National Trust. The Romantic Transformation of Hardwick in the 19th Century