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District of Columbia  |  Monday October 30

Lecture   Romantic English Country Homes

The Fund for American Studies    1706 New Hampshire Ave NW  |  7:00 PM

photo of the lecturer Robert O'Byrne
Writer and Lecturer

Robert O'Byrne is a writer and lecturer specialising in the fine and decorative arts.

He is the author of more than a dozen books, among them Luggala Days: The Story of a Guinness House, The Last Knight: A Tribute to Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin, Romantic Irish Homes and Romantic English Homes.

A retired Vice-President of the Irish Georgian Society and trustee of the Alfred Beit Foundation, he is currently a trustee of the Apollo Foundation and the Artists Collecting Society.

Among other work he writes a monthly column for Apollo magazine, and is also a regular contributor to The Burlington Magazine and the Irish Arts Review.

For the past five years Mr. O'Byrne has written an award-winning blog, The Irish Aesthete

Romantic English Country Homes

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Ever since the English aristocracy embarked on a Grand Tour in the 17th century, the passion for developing collections has been a national trait.

By the time novelist Henry James had moved to England and described English interiors, the country's aristocratic palaces had become repositories of treasures gathered from across the globe. Almost every residence in England had amassed objects influenced by the spread of the English Empire.

Around the same time, a number of organizations were founded to ensure that the finest examples of English domestic design and decoration would survive for future generations' appreciation—most notably the National Trust in 1895. Robert O'Byrne will present 14 English houses—large and small, old and new—which all convey the intentional mingling of styles and tastes that now encompasses the "English look."

From classical antiquities next to gothic revival pieces, or tartan plaid competing with floral chintz, these private houses demonstrate the layering of collections and styles ubiquitous in English homes.

From London to Dorset, Staffordshire to East Anglia, and Northumberland to Suffolk, the timelessness of these properties and their many-layered appearances makes them alluring both in fiction—novels, movies, and television serials such as Downton Abbey—as well as in reality.

District of Columbia  |  Monday October 30

Lecture   Romantic English Country Homes

The Fund for American Studies    1706 New Hampshire Ave NW  |  7:00 PM

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This lecture is preceded by a reception at 6:30 p.m.

Co-sponsors:
FREEMAN'S
American Friends of Attingham
Irish Georgian Society
Washington Decorative Arts Forum

Thank you to FREEMAN'S for supporting the reception




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