Head of English Heritage to lecture in New York and Boston
The important influence of Chiswick House and Gardens on the architectural and gardening world will be the subject of two American lectures later this month by Dr. Simon Thurley, the Chief Executive of English Heritage.
Dr. Thurley will be accompanied by Mr. Rupert Hambro, the Chairman of the Chiswick House and Gardens Trust. It is hoped that the visit will also help to raise funds to complete the restoration of the gardens.
“Lord Burlington’s Chiswick: The house and garden that changed the World,” will be the title of the lectures, to be delivered in New York on 29 January and Boston on 30 January. These lectures are presented by The Royal Oak Foundation, the American membership affiliate of Britain’s National Trust.
Chiswick House and Gardens launched a new taste in architecture which was to spread throughout Britain and North American. U.S. presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams visited Chiswick in 1786, and its influence can be seen at Jefferson’s house Monticello, in Virginia.
Dr Thurley is a leading architectural historian. His books include the best selling Royal Palaces of Tudor England, Whitehall Palace and Hampton Court, a Social and Architectural History. Dr Thurley is a regular broadcaster: his latest primetime Channel 5 TV series, The Buildings that Shaped Britain, focused on why and how key historic buildings helped change the architectural, social, political and geographical landscape of Britain.
Dr Thurley commented: “Chiswick is a site of world significance and the birthplace of the English Landscape Movement, one of Britain’s main contributions to European art. I’m delighted to be able to share its fascinating history with an American audience.”
To date, £7.9 million has been earmarked by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as part of a £12.1 million project to restore the gardens. Gifts and pledges have already been secured through a major fundraising campaign, with just £2.2million to go to complete the work.
The Chiswick House and Gardens Trust was established in April 2005 by English Heritage and the London Borough of Hounslow to integrate the management of the House and Gardens and drive forward the improvements to the site. It includes local representation.
A DVD about the project is available on the website.
January 18, 2007