The Attingham Summer School 2018

July 12-28, 2018

Application Deadline: January 26, 2018

Since its foundation in 1952, THE ATTINGHAM SUMMER SCHOOL has enjoyed outstanding success and is highly regarded by museums, universities and historic preservation societies throughout the world for its careful selection of members, and sustained academic standards.

The School has three main purposes:

  • To EXAMINE the architectural and social history of the historic house in Britain and its gardens and landscape setting.
  • To STUDY the contents of these buildings – their paintings, sculpture, furniture, ceramics, silver, textiles and other applied arts – as well as the planning, decorative treatment and use of the interiors.
  • To STIMULATE debate on problems relating to the conservation and presentation of the country house and its contents.

The 67th Attingham Summer School

Over the course of 18 days, the 67th Attingham Summer School will visit country houses in Sussex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, County Durham and Northumberland. WEST DEAN, Sussex, latterly the home of the great Surrealist collector Edward James and now an educational trust, provides the inspiring setting for our first base where the themes of the course will be introduced and developed through visits to properties nearby. Amongst other houses and gardens, we will study: the complex overlays of ARUNDEL CASTLE, the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Norfolk for more then 700 years; the glories of PETWORTH HOUSE, where the patronage of great British artists such as Turner and Flaxman enrich its Baroque interiors; UPPARK, a Grand Tour house, which suffered a disastrous fire in 1989; and STANDEN, an Arts and Crafts reinterpretation of the country house.

Moving north to the Midlands, we will examine via a series of seminars three related houses: HARDWICK HALL, unique amongst Elizabethan houses for its survival of late 16th century decoration and contents, notably textiles and furniture: BOLSOVER CASTLE, a Jacobean masque setting frozen in stone; and CHATSWORTH, where the collections and gardens of the Dukes of Devonshire span more than four centuries. Other highlights include the startling contrast between CALKE ABBEY, with its left ‘as found’ interiors, and the crisp neo-Classical KEDLESTON HALL, the work of the architect, Robert Adam.

From the final base in Darlington, a market town in Country Durham, we travel into Northumberland. The turbulent histories of both counties mean that they are particularly rich in defensible houses – castles, adapted and modernised by subsequent generations. ALNWICK CASTLE has for centuries been the border stronghold of the Percy family and is one of the country’s great treasure houses, while CRAGSIDE, the house of a late 19th century industrialist commanding a spectacular landscape, was the first country house to be lit by electricity. BISHOP AUCKLAND CASTLE currently undergoing renovation illustrates the history and artistic patronage of the Prince Bishops of Durham, while RABY CASTLE contains important contents amassed over many generations. A study day focussing on its extensive British and European fine and decorative arts collections is planned at the BOWES MUSEUM.

Throughout the course, lectures and seminars will be held, and discussion stimulated on all aspects of the country house including, conservation and restoration, display and interpretation. A number of private houses and collections will be visited details of which will be available in due course.

Enrollment and fees

The Summer School is for qualified early and mid-career professionals, established experts, and dedicated collectors who can contribute from their experience. The course is academically and physically rigorous. In 2018 a Selection Committee comprising of former Attingham course participants will select 24 students from applications submitted by U.S. residents.

The course fee is $5,480, including the U.S. handling fee. The fee includes tuition, accommodation, most meals, admissions and travel by private coach. Not included in the fee is airfare, guidebooks, most alcoholic beverages, laundry and incidentals. You must arrange for your own health insurance coverage while you are on the course.

Application deadline January 26, 2018

The Attingham Summer School 2018 Application Form and Instructions for US-based Applicants

American Friends of Attingham Scholarship Form