Make Yourself Comfortable at Chatsworth

This season Chatsworth cordially invite you to ‘Make Yourself Comfortable’ at a new exhibition showcasing contemporary furniture design, so pull up a chair and take a look…

Chatsworth MYC

With loans sourced from around the world displayed alongside new pieces commissioned for the ever-evolving Devonshire Collection, Make Yourself Comfortable  offers a whole new perspective on Chatsworth as well as on the conventional country house visit. This is definitely not your average look but don’t touch museum-style exhibition. Whilst some pieces, such as Marc Newson’s Lockheed Lounge (currently the most valuable piece of furniture sold by a living designer after selling for £2.4million), remain strictly off-limits, the majority of the chairs are there to be sat on. At first it does seem a little strange given that we’re more accustomed to seeing prickly thistles placed as a polite warning not to sit, but at Make Yourself Comfortable sitting is positively encouraged as it allows you stop and take the time to truly appreciate both the seat and your surroundings. It also means that you can experience the rooms in terms of their function rather than being uMYC1shered along a well-trodden visitor route. In the Dining Room, for instance, you can take a seat at the table and imagine who you’d invite to your dream dinner party… give me the 5th Duke of Devonshire, Georgiana, Bess & the Prince Regent any day! OK, I’m resigned to the fact that will never happen, but I was able to  take my place amongst their portraits in the Sketch Gallery where what looks like a normal painting can be sat on – that’s if you dare lean back against the elasticated canvas! Kids (and big kids) will also love spinning on the Thomas Heatherwick chairs which now grace the Painted Hall and provide a good 360 degree view of the ceilings – and that’s where the success of the exhibition lies. Make Yourself Comfortable is not a disjointed juxtaposition of old and new; the contemporary designs are positioned in a way that sheds new light on the historic setting and enhances how the surroundings are experienced. Each seat has been carefully chosen for its connection to a specific aspect of Chatsworth, so  the cantilever bench placed underneath the cantilever staircase cleverly allows for the design and engineering of both to be appreciated.

Make Yourself Comfortable runs until 23rd October 2015 and is included in the normal entry fee. If you want to learn more about the exhibition, you can book onto one of the  special tours lead by Chatsworth’s Chief Curator, Hannah Obee, which will take place on the 24th April and 26th June.

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