Art professor to study estates in England

Floyd Martin, professor of art at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, is one of several professors, curators, and design professionals participating in The Attingham Study Program, in an intensive course on historic houses and their collections in specific regions of Britain.

Martin will join 29 other professionals from the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Russia, and New Zealand to study the country homes of Norfolk, England, from Sept. 12-20.

The program is sponsored by The Attingham Trust, which enjoys an international reputation for academic excellence.

The focus of the nine-day program concerns two Palladium-style homes, Holkham Hall and Houghton Hall, whose style is derived from famed Venetian architect Andrea Palladio. The interiors and furnishings of the houses feature the work of renowned English designer, William Kent.

Image courtesy of Holkham Hall Estate
Image courtesy of Holkham Hall Estate

“We will study the houses in great detail and within context of social and cultural history, as well as the architecture, gardens and interiors, including collections of paintings, furniture and other decorative arts,” said Martin.

The program includes lectures and tours led by curators and design professionals associated with major collections.

Martin and the other participants will visit and analyze Holkham Hall, the country estate built by Sir Robert Walpole to house his great collection of European master paintings and classical sculpture. Walpole was first minister to both George I and George II.

“Holkham Hall is a quintessential Grand Tour house because of its library, archive, silver, textiles, paintings and sculpture,” Martin said.

This year brings 60 European Old Master paintings to the parade rooms at Houghton for the recreation of the original displays there. The paintings have been returned after being on loan from the Hermitage State Museum, St. Petersburg, other Russian museums and the United States.

Over the last 30 years, Martin has participated in The Attingham Trust’s summer program and two study weeks, one devoted to historic furnishings and textiles, and one in Italy devoted to the architecture of Palladio.

Today many Attingham alumni are among the staff of museums, galleries, universities, heritage bodies, design practices, and conservation programs throughout the world.

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