Past Exhibitions

William Kent: (1685- 1748), Architect and Garden Designer: ‘A Poet on Paper’

30 October - 19 December 1998

This is the first major exhibition of designs by William Kent, architect and garden designer, best known for Horse Guards on Whitehall, and Holkham Hall in Norfolk.

The exhibition reveals Kent as the creative genius behind behind Neo-Palladian architecture and Picturesque landscape gardening. It was Kent who transplanted 'Arcadia' to the English countryside, arranging Roman temples, grottos, cascades, ruins and clumps of trees to create an idealised classical landscape inspired by the paintings of Claude Lorraine. According to Horace Walpole, William Kent 'leaped the fence and saw that all nature was a garden'. Capability Brown was to follow in Kent's footsteps.