Must Reads on the Dumfries House

Fri, 09/09/2016 - 11:32am -- lwhite

     On Wednesday, September 14, John Tschirch returns for part three of the of his four part lecture series “The Great English House.”  His third talk, "Chippendale Masterpiece: Dumfries House", will focus on the interior furnishings of Dumfries House, a Palladian style Scottish country house built by Robert and John Adam. Inside Robert Adam would work his magic in the Rococo style while the Earl of Dumfries, who commissioned the house with the hopes it may attract a new wife, handpicked the furniture from Thomas Chippendale’s workshop in the heart of London. To learn more about this Scottish estate, the architects of Dumfries house, or the creator of some of the finest furniture in the world check out some of the book below!



            . The Polite Tourist: Four Centuries of Country House Visiting by Adrian Tinniswood

               Country house visiting is one of Britain's favorite leisure activities. For more than five centuries, historic buildings have opened their doors, inviting the tourist to step inside. Elizabethans strolled around palaces, royal and private, like Hampton Court and Hardwick Hall, while Georgians appreciated the classical refinement of properties like Kedleston Hall and Osterley Park, admiring the treasures brought back from the Grand Tour. Adrian Tinniswood takes the reader on a grand tour around the historic houses of England, and discovers how, throughout the centuries, the idea of national heritage has developed.





                  . Dumfries House : An Architectural Story by Simon Green

            Dumfries House lies within its historic landscape in rolling farmland to the west of Cumnock. Completed in 1760, the house was adapted and altered over the years…. Dumfries House is not only significant architecturally; it also contains one of the most spectacular collections of eighteenth century furniture in Britain, with works by Thomas Chippendale, and pieces by three renowned Edinburgh furniture makers; Francis Brodie, Alexander Peter and William Mathie. In June 2007, HRH the Prince of wales headed a consortium of charities and heritage bodies to buy the house, its contents, and its estate with the express aim of preserving it in its entirety and making it more accessible to the public.



               . The Scottish Country House by James Knox

        The Scots are knowns for their hardiness, and this tale of ten houses is one of remarkable longevity played out against the backdrop of Scottish history. With one exception, all of the houses are still lived in either by families who built them of by those who have owned them for generations. The palm for the longest tenure must go to the Munros, who have inhabited the land of the Foulis since the eleventh century. The exception is Dumfries House, which passes out of private ownership in 2007 and is run by a charitable trust presided over by the Prince of Wales…. The House and estate are now the catalyst for the regeneration in an acutely deprived district in Scotland. Country Houses have always been hub of economic activity but never more so then today, when tourism has been added to the traditional mix of farming and sport. 


              . Robert Adam by Doreen Yarwood

      Robert Adam is one of the most honored names in the history of western architecture. His buildings carry his “signature” of rightness, nobility of proportion and taste as unmistakably as a chair by Sheraton.  There have been earlier books about the architect’s wok but Adam the man has only been revealed in a thorough way since his extensive correspondence and documents were made available after 1950. Here the two aspects of the man and his work are for the first time integrated fully in one volume. 







              . The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale by Christopher Gilbert

        Thomas Chippendale is the best known designer of English furniture and certainly the most influential. Not only was he active in a period of abundant patronage but his ideas were made widely accessible through the publications the Gentleman & Cabinet Maker’s Directory which was a model for a wide range of furniture makers made his name a household word. His furniture adorns some of the finest English houses …but his accounts show the enormous range of furniture he produced.







              . Palladio and English Palladianism by Rudolf Wittkower

      Some of Professor Rudolf Wittkower’s most important contributions to architectural history finally bound in a single volume. Written between 1945 and 1969 on the theme of Palladio and his influence in England- especially on Inigo Jones, Burlington and Kent_ these thirteen essays give powerful evidence of Professor Wittkower’s penetrating mind and careful scholarship. All original illustrations are included, making a book that is as attractive visually as it is intellectually stimulating. 







             . The Treasure Houses of Britain: Fine Hundred Years of Private Patronage and Art Collecting edited by Gervase Jackson-Stops

       The Country house as a collective work of art is one of Britain’s most important contribution to western civilization. This lavishly illustrated book not only provides a complete overview of British art collecting from the Tudor period to the present but also illuminates the historical importance, evolution, and role of country houses in Britain. 








            . Adam Style by Steven Parissien

        In Great Britain at the height of the Georgian period, a fresh Neo-Classical style of architecture and interior design came to epitomize the age. From the mid-1750’s until the mid- 1780’s a style developed that came to be associated forever afterward with the name of the leading architect, Robert Adam, whose career was then at its peak.  But Adam was not alone in developing the style that now bears his name- this was the age of Chippendale, Wedgwood, and Hepplewhite, who all excelled at interpreting classical and Renaissance forms mixed with delicate ornamentation, whether in a house, a chair, or a teapot.