Sir Robert Walpole's art collection returning to Houghton Hall for an exceptional exhibition.
The magnificent art collection of Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, sold to Catherine the Great to adorn the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, will be reassembled in its spectacular original setting of Houghton Hall for the first time in over 200 years this summer.
Curator Thierry Morel has worked on the “Houghton Revisited” exhibition for three years and in 2012 appointed Momart to work on the logistics side of this exciting and unique project. Collaborating closely with the curator and exhibition registrar we coordinated the transport of the paintings from Russia (and those which had disseminated to the United States) to Houghton Hall and the installation of the masterpieces by (amongst others) Rembrandt, Veronese, Rubens, Van Dyck, Marrata, Giordano and Poussin.
Houghton Hall was designed by William Kent to house Walpole’s prized collection of Old Master paintings and many details of the magnificent interiors and furnishings have remained unchanged in the 250 years since Walpole’s death. Following the records showing where each artwork originally hung in Kent’s interior, the paintings in the “Houghton Revisited“ exhibition were hung as close as possible to their original positions in the State Rooms, bringing them back to the splendour of more than two centuries ago.
The project was challenging and the installation very complex, including removal of artworks that were currently hanging in the house and not associated with the exhibition. We were heavily involved in the planning of all technical aspects, scheduling and ensuring that all of the overseas arrangements as well as the site work at the venue took place exactly as required and in accordance with a very strict and challenging schedule. The exhibition opened a success, and Momart will be involved in the de-installation and return shipment to lenders once the show closes at the end of September.