David Korins, a inventive director and designer whose work consists of the set design for “Hamilton,” had a problem: designing an exhibition for Sotheby’s from the massive, different household assortment held on the historic Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, England. He stated he puzzled, “How can I bring the experience of a really permanent, physically permanent place to New York City and give guests the feeling of what it’s like in the DNA of that experience?”
The exhibition, “Treasures From Chatsworth,” will open to the general public June 28 in New York in Sotheby’s newly renovated galleries. Admission will probably be free.
Mr. Korins stated his “aha moment” got here final summer season, when he was staying at Chatsworth, residence to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, for a number of days as he was conceiving the exhibition. He had gotten up early and sat for a very long time in a single room.
“I began to really let my eyes wander around the room, and not just the big beautiful pieces of art but the furniture and the corners of the room,” he stated. He realized that he didn’t simply need to make the paintings and objects a part of the exhibition; he needed to incorporate the small print of the home itself. In the type of blown-up 360-degree sculptures, Mr. Korins will enlarge small particulars — desk legs, moldings, chair ft, corners of rooms — and use them as vitrines and set items for the artworks and objects on show.
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The exhibition will feature 45 artworks, decorative objects, pieces of jewelry, clothing and archive materials — all drawn from the Devonshire Collection, accumulated over about 500 years by the Cavendish family, and held at Chatsworth House.
The large stately home made was made famous by its use in the 2005 film “Pride and Prejudice” as Mr. Darcy’s Pemberley. (Some believe that Jane Austen originally based Pemberley on Chatsworth.) Today, the house is partially open to the public but remains a private residence for the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
Among the objects coming to the United States are a portrait by Rembrandt; two Canaletto paintings of Venice; a stunning veiled marble sculpture by Raffaele Monti; and two Lucian Freud portraits, of the 11th Duke of Devonshire and his wife, the Duchess.
“The collection is really quite eclectic because different members of my family, different ancestors inevitably had different taste,” said the Peregrine Andrew Morny Cavendish, known as Stoker, the current Duke of Devonshire. “An interesting thing about the collection is that it’s a continuum. It’s not just one or two generations, but nearly 500 years of them.”
He said that many things in the collection have gone through cycles of use and disuse, going out of fashion and coming into it again. He described a set of chairs by designer Joseph Walsh, which the family now uses most days in the dining room. One day, he said, “they’ll be put in a glass case.”
The Duke of Devonshire said he’s thrilled by Mr. Korins’s imaginative design for the exhibition. “I think he has a brilliant way of getting across a grand space in a smaller space,” he said. “I think the architecture of this exhibition will focus attention on the works, and we’ll look at them in a different sort of way.”