Detail from a portrait of the Countess of Nottingham by Paul van Somer

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Exhibition Talks – Unseen Treasures of The Portland Collection

25 March 2023

This programme of free talks reveals the stories behind the artworks in new exhibition ‘Unseen Treasures of The Portland Collection’.

To celebrate the opening of our new exhibition, Unseen Treasures of The Portland Collection, we’ve planned a whole day of free talks which reveal the hidden stories behind the artworks.

Each talk will last approximately 30 minutes, including time for your questions.

Lisa Gee, Director of The Harley Foundation, will introduce Unseen Treasures of The Portland Collection and give a behind-the-scenes insight into the making of an exhibition – from initial concept to final flourishes.

Tours with Lisa will take place at 10.30am and 2pm.

Susan Sherrit, Gallery Manager and tapestry weaver will lead a tour on Tapestry. Join her to learn about the Wauter’s horsemanship tapestries from the 17th century, before going next door to The Harley Gallery for a tour of Jennie Moncur’s exhibition of contemporary tapestry, Interrupted Views.

Tours with Susan will take place at 11.30am and 3pm.

** Susan will be joined by the artist, Jennie Moncur, for the 11.30am tour **

Dr. Fiona Clapperton, Education and Engagement Manager and historian will speak about the women in the Tudor and Stuart courts, telling stories of politics, power, and portraiture.

Tours with Fiona will take place at 12.30pm and 4pm.

Tapestry, Weaving by Michiel Wauters, design by Abraham van Diepenbeke, around 1660. © Harley Foundation, The Portland Collection


Unseen Treasures of The Portland Collection

The Portland Collection, built up over 400 years by a single aristocratic family, is vast and varied. Exhibitions in its dedicated museum change at The Harley Foundation every three years.

Unseen Treasures of The Portland Collection offers a new, revealing look at this world-class art collection.

For this display, opening 25th March 2023, visitors will enter a museum filled to the brim with fascinating art and objects, a giant cabinet of curiosities. There will be silver and tapestry, paintings and jewels; art that has come home after a long loan to a prestigious national gallery, and stunning star items that visitors know and love – such as Michelangelo’s ‘Madonna of Silence’ or the pearl earring worn by Charles I at his execution.

A highlight of the display is a Picture Gallery, stacked with Tudor and Jacobean portraits – many of which have never been seen publicly before.

Top: (Detail) Lady Margaret Stuart, Countess of Nottingham, Paul van Somer, c. 1620. © Harley Foundation, The Portland Collection

Booking Information

Tickets for these talks are free.

Multiple times

Saturday 25 March
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
4:00 PM – 4:30 PM


This event is partially funded by Inspire: Libraries, Museums and Culture.

All participants are required to complete a short registration form on booking.

Please check in for your talk at Museum Reception.


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