This year marks the 300th birthday of Thomas Chippendale, one of this country’s greatest craftsmen and designers.
The Hepworth Wakefield is collaborating with Nostell and artist and designer Giles Round to explore Chippendale’s legacy and the importance of the domestic setting as one where art and design are brought into conversation.
Chippendale is often referred to as the first interior designer where in properties such as Nostell, Wakefield’s National Trust house and garden, he designed whole room schemes, sourcing wallpapers to basic fixtures and fittings. His entrepreneurialism is exemplified by the publishing of his The Director – a catalogue of his designs that prospective buyers could use to commission pieces of their own.
At The Hepworth Wakefield, Round will examine the gallery’s own history as the former Wakefield Art Gallery, which was sited in a domestic property in the city centre. In 1959, director Helen Kapp organised an exhibition called Living Today where she invited eight architects to refurnish and redecorate the galleries, as if they were once again inhabited domestic spaces.
On display will be design objects from ceramics and textiles to glass and furniture that were shown in the 1959 exhibition and are still in production, alongside examples of the best hand-crafted and industrially-produced objects being made today. Each month these objects will be rearranged, allowing for different combinations of objects to be presented over the course of the exhibition. In the spirit of Chippendale’s ‘The Director’, there will be an itemised list of particular objects on display for visitors to purchase at the gallery or online shop. You can download the list of objects here.
An exhibition will run alongside at National Trust property Nostell and is 20 minutes drive from The Hepworth Wakefield.