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Last Chance to see Sir Peter Blake Miniatures at The Portland Collection, Welbeck

STORY:The Portland Collection Press Preview

Date: Friday 4th March 2016

Location: The Harley Gallery, Welbeck, S80 3LW

Time: 10am - 3pm

Main contact: Carly Jones, Redbrick Communications - 07807 159 493

Secondary contact: Steve Houghton, Redbrick Communications - 07917 671 516


Masterpieces of The Portland Collection, assembled over 400 years by the Dukes of Portland, will be unveiled at a press preview at the new Harley Gallery on Friday 4th March. There will be a unique opportunity to see Michelangelo’s Madonna del Silenzio, on show for the first time in 50 years. The Portland Collection will open to the public on Sunday 20th March.

Photography brief

It would be ideal if you could capture shots of the following;

* Lisa Gee, Director at The Harley Gallery, giving her presentation speech and also shots of her in conversation in the gallery space

* The gallery space, with people both in and out of the shots

* Outside shots of the new Harley Gallery, with people both in and out of the photos

* Close up and distance shots of the artwork on display

* Shots of art and architecture critics on a tour of the gallery in the afternoon

The Portland Collection visual opportunities

* Michelangelo’s Madonna del Silenzio (c.1538) will go on show for the first time in 50 years

* Van Dyck’s painting of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford and advisor to Charles I, not publicly exhibited since 1960

* The pearl earring worn by Charles I at his execution in 1649

* The Portland Tiara by Cartier worn by Winifred, Duchess of Portland

* George Stubbs painting of the 3rd Duke of Portland on horseback outside the stables of Welbeck

* A display from the Portland Collection’s extraordinary miniatures, selected by Sir Peter Blake

* The new Harley Gallery at Welbeck, a 800 square metre building that includes a glazed entrance pavilion and two spacious galleries

PHOTOGRAPHER: Mark Fear - Mark Fear Photography.  Contact +44 753 977 3354.

An opportunity to see a display of extraordinary miniatures selected by pop art pioneer Sir Peter Blake, as part of The Portland Collection on the historic Welbeck estate, is nearing a close as works from the light sensitive collection return to storage.

The current display from the collection shows the historic portraits in a most unusual way with many different faces from different periods forming a ‘magical crowd’ reminiscent of Sir Peter Blake’s famous album cover for The Beatles’ Sgt Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band. The last chance to see the display will be Sunday 18th September.

In place of Sir Peter Blake’s selection a new display of miniatures selected by Art Historian Karen Hearn, curatorial advisor to The Portland Collection, honorary professor at UCL and previous Curator of 16th & 17th Century British Art at the Tate Galleries, will be on show from Saturday 24th September.

Sir Peter Blake said: “I am delighted to work with the amazing Portland Collection of miniatures. Many of them are very important and are usually shown in small numbers in historically relevant displays.”

Lisa Gee, Director at The Harley Gallery, said: “Many of the miniatures are painted with watercolour paint which is light sensitive. We make sure that they are protected from light for set periods throughout the year. As a result we are working with a different curator every six months giving different perspectives on the same collection.  Sir Peter’s choice was so personal to him and shows how we all view art through our own particular experiences. Karen is taking a more scholarly approach which offers another window onto this amazing collection.”

The Portland Miniatures are displayed in a specialist viewing area by Exhibition Designer John Ronayne, which uses sophisticated PIR technology to manage light levels in order to protect the works for generations to come.

The Portland Collection, assembled over 400 years by the Dukes of Portland and their families, has one of the largest and most significant privately owned collections of miniatures in the country. The current display of over 80 delicate miniatures have been on show since the gallery’s opening in March and once tucked away in storage many will not reappear for years to come.

For more information, visit: www.harleygallery.co.uk.

Posted on 24 August 2016

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