12 May 2016 7pm (6:30 drinks)
This May Clive Aslet will present a lecture at the American Museum in Britain. The lecture, Prison or Arcadia? What Americans Made of the English Country House, explores the American response and contribution to English country estates.
In the lecture, Clive Aslet will explore how Americans not only supported our heritage but, through figures such as writer and political activist Emerald Cunard, helped to transform social life between the wars. American brides’ dowries contributed a vast amount of money to estates such as Easton Neston, Blenheim, and Floors Castle, while Andrew Carnegie and William Waldorf embraced the romance of Cliveden, Skibo Castle, and Hever.
Clive Aslet will talk about the Prince of Wales embracing the style of Long Island in Fort Belvedere as a result of his love for Wallis Simpson; the American Lawrence Johnston’s creation of the archetypal English garden at Hidcote; American-born socialite Nancy Astor becoming the first female MP to take a seat in the House of Commons; and Nancy Lancaster creating the ‘English country-house look’in Virginia after the Second World War.
This lecture will appeal to anyone who is fascinated by history, social development, cultural liaison, architecture, and the American love of England and all things English.
Clive Aslet is an award-winning writer and journalist, acknowledged as a leading authority on Britain and its way of life. He joined Country Life in 1977, was editor for 13 years from 1993, and continues to write for them as well as contributing to The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, and The Spectator. He recently appeared in BBC 2’s series Land of Hope and Glory: British Country Life.
Director Richard Wendorf says: ‘This lecture is the perfect ‘fit’ for us – embracing the Museum’s objective in strengthening English/American relations while exploring cultural and aesthetic traditions. Clive Aslet’s knowledge and engaging style promise to make it a really enjoyable evening.’
The English Country House is also appearing at the American Museum in Britain this year in a temporary exhibition—Jeremiah! Inspired Interiors. This is the first European show of the legendary interiors painter Jeremiah Goodman. It features sumptuous paintings of interiors— both here and in America. The exhibition is open from 19 April – 1 July in the Coach House. There will be guided tours of the exhibition and a discussion of Jeremiah’s life and work on Friday 28 April and Tuesday 2 June at 11am.
This lecture is presented with the kind support of Wendy Claridge.
American Museum in Britain, Claverton Manor, Claverton, Bath, BA2 7BD