Friday, September 24, 2010


The beauty of empty rooms: a lovely gallery of photos at the Telegraph of Horace Walpole's newly renovated Strawberry Hill (whose rooms were never so beautifully empty when he was in residence).

(More at the Sunday Times on an associated exhibit at the Victoria and Albert, now concluded:
It is a fraction of his extraordinary collection, not seen together since everything was auctioned off after Walpole's death. Dr Dee's mirror will be there, King Francis I's golden armour, Walpole's huge collection of portrait miniatures, as well as his oddities, such as a lock of Mary Tudor's hair and Cardinal Wolsey's crimson hat, all in settings that recreate Strawberry Hill's fabulous interior. “You simply cannot separate Walpole's collection from the building he created to contain it,” says Michael Snodin, the exhibition's curator and chair of the Strawberry Hill Trust.
As a graduate student, I was lucky enough to spend a bit of time at the extraordinary Lewis Walpole Library in Connecticut - worthwhile to arrange a stop if you are passing through that part of the state...


  1. Astonishing. I did not realize they were building Gothic quite so early. So much was new in that period - in finance, insurance, government - that it's easy to see why some fled into a medieval fantasy.

    Such a contrast with the equally fascinating Sezincote House, which embraces trade, India, contemporaneity.

  2. Gloomth is now my word for the day! matches perfectly what I see outside my window.
    A great series of pictures ... of course, for anyone who has had their interest tweaked, there's also the book detailing the Strawberry Hill collection and the great "virtual tour" where you can view everything from Dr. Dee's mirror to a portrait of Anne Damer.