Past Exhibitions

Promiscous Assemblage, Friendship, and The Order of Things

An exhibition in the Breakfast Room of No.13 Lincoln's Inn Fields from 19 February - 1 May 2010

Promiscuous Assemblage, Friendship & The Order of Things is an extraordinary site-specific installation for the Breakfast Room of No.13 Lincoln's Inn Fields created by artist Jane Wildgoose to accompany and complement the exhibition Mrs Delany and her Circle. First shown at the Yale Center for British Art at New Haven, Connecticut, USA, this beautiful installation is a celebration of the enduring and productive friendship between Mrs. Delany and Margaret Cavendish, second Duchess of Portland.

Wildgoose's extravagant cabinet of curiosities evokes the "Promiscuous Assemblage" described in the catalogue that accompanied the sale of the Duchess's "Portland Museum" compiled by the botanist John Lightfoot and published in 1786. This magnificent collection of natural history specimens, fine and decorative arts, as well as curiosities, with which Mary Delany was familiar, was sold in the year following the Duchess's death at a 38-day auction comprising over four thousand lots.

Wildgoose's meticulous creation offers a perspective on the ways in which the natural history collections of the 18th-century can be understood to reflect the delicate interlacing of the manners, taste, friendships and material culture of the people who assembled them.