Picturing Childhood: A New Perspective at Chatsworth

Exhibition details

16 March - 6 October | admission is included with all house tickets.

Childhood is an experience that unites us all, creating the foundations for the adults we become. Our new 2024 exhibition, Picturing Childhood: A New Perspective at Chatsworth, invites you to explore the many different versions of childhood as represented in art that spans five centuries, from Tudor times to the present day.

Rarely-seen pieces from the Devonshire Collections - such as paintings, sketches, literature, photographs, costumes and sculpture - will be on display throughout the house in addition to loans and exciting new interactive works by contemporary artists. The pieces explore themes ranging from family relationships and literacy to duty, identity and colonialism.

Designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds, the exhibition takes inspiration from Chatsworth's playful histories and includes thought-provoking, multi-sensory experiences as well as the opportunity to rest, read and reflect. 

What artworks can you experience?

Works by artists including Raphael, Anthony van Dyck, Edwin Landseer, Joshua Reynolds, Johan Zoffany (on loan from Tate) and Lucian Freud are installed throughout the house in historic spaces such as the Chapel and the State Apartment. 

They are shown alongside items from the archives at Chatsworth, including a flick through family photo album, and a short film inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a first edition of which is held in the library.

Viewfinders, installed by artist Abigail Reynolds around the house and garden, encourage you to view life and Chatsworth from a new perspective, such as the eyes of a hawk, a songbird or a multi-lens trilobite.  'Hopscotch' your way to the house entrance on boards drawn by Eleven Design in Sheffield. Enjoy a new view of Chatsworth's historic architecture by taking a seat on 'Skystation', an installation in the Inner Courtyard by artist Peter Newman. Take a deep breath and experience the aromas of the meal served at Queen Victoria's first formal dinner party with adults, staged in Chatsworth's Great Dining Room when she was 13 years old and recreated by scent artist Tasha Marks


Artworks, artefacts and experiences connected to the exhibition are on display throughout the house at various points on the visitor route.

Access to the exhibition is included with all house and garden tickets, you do not need a separate ticket. 


Images: 1. Peter Newman's Skystation, 2. Portrait of Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire with her daughter Lady Georgiana Cavendish, later Countess of Carlisle - Sir. Joshua Reynolds 1784, 3 section of William Brooke (10th Lord Cobham) family portrait - The Master of the Countess of Warwick 1567-1580

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