Special exhibitions allow items to be displayed in a new and intimate context.
The Treasury is a purpose-built display area which gives the opportunity for a series of special exhibitions that focus upon areas of the collection that cannot usually be displayed in the staterooms.In recent years there have been exhibitions of the world famous Burghley collection of Chinese snuff bottles, rare Japanese Kakiemon ceramics, of treasures from the Elizabethan period, European ceramics and a stunning collection of Japanese Lacquer.
The Travelling Earls at Burghley
Burghley’s 2018 exhibition takes us on a journey around Europe – following the footsteps of three Cecils, who went on Grand Tours in the 17th and 18th Centuries, returning to Burghley with an enormous collection of art and furniture and influencing the development of this magnificent house more than all others.
Today they form an important part of Burghley’s collection and are on public view in the State Rooms for visitors to enjoy. The annual exhibition, however, will focus on the smaller treasures, which can’t normally be displayed in the house, but which tell the tale of the Grand Tour from a more personal perspective. The display will include bronzes, mosaics, miniatures, ceramics and a wide variety of works of art.
The exhibition will look at the lives, journeys and purchases made by the two Earls whose contribution to the 420 year history of Burghley House is truly outstanding.
‘Capability’ Brown at Burghley
Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s Tercentenary in 2016 celebrated the life of the ‘father of landscape architecture’ and while he worked on many sites, Burghley provides a shining example of both his gardening and building skills.
Brown largely designed the parkland and gardens during the 18th century, but England’s greatest Elizabethan house also provides a less well-known aspect of the celebrated landscaper’s life – his architecture.
Believed to be his longest commission, during which he not only landscaped the grounds but also constructed buildings, Brown later recalled his work at the house – on the edge of the Georgian stone town of Stamford – as “25 years of pleasure”. Our dedicated exhibition and information leaflet shows his work at Burghley in the context of his career and the parkland where his work can still enjoyed.
A Loan Exhibition of Splendid Roman Statuary
During the 2016 season, Burghley is delighted to display an important collection of Roman statuary, dating from the 2nd and 3rd Centuries A.D. The statues come from the collection of Ernst August, hereditary Prince of Hanover and were purchased in Italy during the mid-18th Century by his ancestor, Count Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden-Gimborn (1736-1811), an illegitimate son of King George II.
Their loan to Burghley is particularly relevant in 2016, the tercentenary anniversary of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Brown worked for the 9th Earl of Exeter for 23 years, completely redesigning the Park and Gardens and also making important changes to the architecture of Burghley itself. One of his designs was for the rustication of the well of the Hell Staircase to make it suitable for the display of sculptures collected by Lord Exeter on his two Grand Tours, which were undertaken at almost the same dates as those taken by Prince Johann Ludwig. The Wallmoden statues will join those from the Burghley Collection on show to visitors in the Hell Stairwell.