The full line-up for a major new literary festival has been announced today with a stellar cast of more than 20 of art’s leading makers, curators and writers appearing at ‘The Chatsworth Festival – Art Out Loud‘, which runs for three days from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 September 2015.

Believed to be first literary festival dedicated to art, speakers include Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry CBE; contemporary conceptual artist and painter Michael Craig-Martin; writer and BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz; Royal Academy director Tim Marlow on Ai Weiwei; novelists Esther Freud and Hannah Rothschild; and many more (see below for full list).

Talks will take place in a marquee on the private South Lawn and in the historic Theatre. Tickets go on sale from 9 June 2015 priced at £12.50 per talk and include entry to garden. Chatsworth will run a Festival Bookshop, selling recently published and other books by a selection of the speakers.

The three day event is inspired by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s passion for art. “We’re delighted to be able to give our visitors the opportunity to hear some of the country’s leading artists, collectors, authors and journalists and talking about their work. The lives of all our speakers, one way or another, have been immersed in art and we think their experiences and involvement in the creative process will provide some truly fascinating talks” – The Duke of Devonshire.

‘Art Out Loud’ is the latest addition to a burgeoning arts scene at Chatsworth and the event will run alongside the 10th anniversary of the ‘Beyond Limits’ monumental sculpture exhibition in the garden starting in September. The ‘Make Yourself Comfortable’ exhibition of contemporary seating takes place in the house until October while the ‘Grand Tour’ programme of exhibitions and events begins in July in conjunction with Nottingham Contemporary, the Harley Gallery and Derby Museums.

Chatsworth has a long association with the literary world. The Duke of Devonshire owns the antiquarian bookshop ‘Heywood Hill’ in Mayfair where his aunt Nancy Mitford, author of ‘Love in a Cold Climate’, worked during the Second World War, while his mother Deborah Cavendish was a successful published author of more than a dozen books including ‘Wait for Me’ and ‘Tearing Haste’.

Friday 18 September

Tim Marlow: the writer, broadcaster and art historian talks about Ai Weiwei as a major new exhibition of the artist’s work opens at the Royal Academy where Marlow is Director of Artistic Programmes.

Hannah Rothschild: the writer and film director is in conversation with Rachel Campbell-Johnston about her first novel “The Improbability of Love” published May 2015.

Philip Hook: a Director of Sotheby’s and author of “Breakfast at Sotheby’s; An A-Z of the Art World”, he gives the inside track on the business of buying and selling art.

Helen Rosslyn: the art historian and film maker looks at some of the rarely seen highlights of the Devonshire Collection of prints and explains how an early encounter with them contributed to her own passion for prints.

Saturday 19 September

Duke of Devonshire: in conversation with Rachel Campbell-Johnston, the Duke discusses the continuing work being done to establish Chatsworth as an important destination for contemporary art.

Fiona McCarthy: the award winning biographer of Eric Gill and William Morris talks about her long-held fascination with the process of making and how it inspires her books, including her new book about Walter Gropius

Michael Craig- Martin: the celebrated artist talks about his two new books, his 2014 exhibition at Chatsworth and his digital portrait of Lady Burlington, as she reflects on her experience as a sitter.

Pablo Bronstein: in conversation with Alex Farquharson of Nottingham Contemporary, the artist discusses the influence and impact of the architecture and design of the 17th and 18th centuries on his own work.

Jonathan Yeo: one of the UK’s most highly regarded portrait artists discusses his career to date and the current trajectory of portraiture in conversation with Matthew Parris.

Charles Saumarez Smith: the Chief Executive of the Royal Academy talks about the plans for the new RA building opening in 2018, its impact on the 250-year old institution and on the viewing public.

Will Gompertz: the author and BBC Arts Editor, discusses his new book “Think Like an Artist” and explores the subject of creativity; what unites successful artists and what can their ability to turn fantasy into reality teach us.

Joseph Walsh and Kevin Francis Gray: these two internationally successful artists discuss the artistic process behind their work in conversation with Rachel Campbell-Johnston.

Sunday 20 September

Esther Freud: the novelist discusses her latest book featuring Charles Rennie Mackintosh and explains how her experiences with her father Lucian helped her find the right tone and line.

Jonathan Ruffer: in conversation with Matthew Parris the investment banker tells how and why he bought and restored Auckland Castle along with its twelve Zurbaran paintings, all considered masterpieces.

Grayson Perry: the ceramicist and Turner prize-winner considers art history’s web of connections and influences and what they mean for artists and in particular for Grayson Perry himself.

Christopher Simon Sykes: the writer discusses the latest instalment of his biography of David Hockney, drawing on the primary material he gathered from Hockney and the artist’s close circle of friends to produce his rich, joyful account of Hockney’s life.

Simon Jenkins: the journalist, author and former Chair of the National Trust raises questions about the role of the historic house in the 21st century and how best to balance the interests of the house and the visiting public.

Cate Haste: the biographer and film-maker discusses her book on Craigie Aitchison, examining what informed his visual imagination, distinctive themes and powerfully evocative painting style.

Alison Yarrington: the Professor of Art History at Loughborough University advised on the 2009 project to restore the Chatsworth Sculpture Gallery to its appearance in 1858, the year of the death of its creator the 6th Duke of Devonshire. She discusses the work with Matthew Hirst, Head of Arts and Historic Collections at Chatsworth.

Final speaker: details to be announced, will be a ‘Great British Artist’.


Notes to editors:

Chatsworth House Trust:  The Chatsworth House Trust is dedicated to the long-term preservation of Chatsworth House, the art collection, garden, woodlands and park for the long term benefit of the public. 

The charity promotes the study and appreciation of Chatsworth as a place of historic, architectural and artistic interest and of natural beauty, and encourages the use and enjoyment of Chatsworth by visitors for education and recreation. 

Chatsworth is a member of the Treasure Houses of England, 10 of the most magnificent palaces, stately homes and castles in England.

Chatsworth is only 16 miles from the MI, 10 miles from Chesterfield, and 8 miles north of Matlock, in the heart of Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park and is well served by transport links throughout the UK.

For further information or images please contact:

Steve Houghton (

Liz Bee (

Redbrick Communications, 68 St

James’s Street, Nottingham, NG1 6FJ

T: 0115 910 1500

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