TALK: with the Interior Designer Emily Todhunter

Wednesday 17 June, 6:30pm  Bookings

As part of our architecture exhibition we welcome leading interior designer Emily Todhunter to the barn to discuss her work and inspiration.

Emily Todhunter founded the interior design company Todhunter Earle in 1988, with Kate Earle joining as her partner in 1998. Since then the business has expanded rapidly both in size and scope. Her projects range from classic English country houses to well-known restaurants, yachts, small boutique hotels, ski chalets and beautiful homes worldwide.

Todhunter Earle has been at the forefront of the international interior design industry for over 20 years. They are one of only a handful of leading designers to have been continuously included in House & Garden magazine’s Top 100 Interior Designers since the list first began in 1998.

Emily will be joining us as our guest for supper afterwards.

TALK: Lucienne Day: The Right Line with Mary Schoeser

Lucienne_Day_(1917 - 2010)_Mezzanine_Yellow_1958_Screen_Printed_Cotton, Heals Fabrics, 102 x 117 cms

Wednesday 20 May, 6:30pm  Bookings

Historian and author Mary Schoesler will introduce us to Lucienne Day who was at the forefront of international textile design in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The art of textile design radically changed after the Second World War and Lucienne was pivotal in this artistic revolution. Her use of bold abstract pattern, as well as saturated colour was influenced by the art world. ‘Lucienne Day: The Right Line’ explores the distinctive use of line in the postwar period, contextualising Lucienne’s work within a survey that also includes Calder, Miro, Picasso and Dali.

Lucienne Day (1917–2010) is one of the best-known post-war textile designers. Born in Surrey, she studied at Croydon School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. During her career she won several awards, including the Gran Premio prize at the Milan Triennale 1954. She is noted for using Surrealist imagery as a key influence in her designs. Her design ‘Calyx’, presented at the 1951 Festival of Britain, is her most famous work. She became a Royal Designer for Industry in 1962.

As a predominantly freelance historian since 1991, Mary Schoeser MA FRSA has written diverse publications (26 books, over 50 essays in books and over 120 shorter pieces), which include Textiles: A concise history (T&H: 2003), Silk (Yale University Press, 2007), and Textiles: The art of mankind (Thames & Hudson, 2012 and 2013). Mary has worked with English Heritage, the National Trust and other historic property owners and also informed 36 curatorial projects, most recently a Designers Guild exhibition for the Fashion & Textile Museum in London. Extensive academic experience included a part-time research position at Central Saint Martins (2000-2011) and receipt in 2016 of an Honorary Senior Research Fellowship from the V&A Museum. President of the Textile Society, she is also Patron of the School of Textiles, Coggeshall.

TALK: with the Author Michael Morpurgo

Friday 26 June, 6:30pm  Bookings

Talk and reading of ‘Muck & Magic’ the new book by the best-selling author of ‘War Horse’ Michael Morpurgo.

We are delighted that the highly acclaimed author Michael Morpurgo (Warhorse, Why the Whales Came, The Butterfly Lion) is coming to the gallery this summer to talk about his new book ‘Muck and Magic’. Signed copies of the book will be available to purchase.

‘Muck & Magic’ is an inspiring and empowering story about a girl who discovers a hidden talent. A contemporary countryside tale about the power of friendship and creativity, from the nation’s favourite children’s author and beautifully illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill (J. K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). Bonny has always wanted to be a top cyclist, maybe even a future Olympic champion. But her world changes after meeting a sculptor named Lizzie, who is inspired by Elisabeth Frink, a great friend of Michael’s.

Michael Morpurgo has an unparalleled reputation as a children’s storyteller. He was Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005, has written over 100 books and is the winner of many awards, including the Whitbread Children’s Book Award, the Smarties Book Prize, the Blue Peter Award and the Red House Children’s Book Award. His books are translated and read around the world and his hugely popular novel War Horse is now both a critically acclaimed stage play and a highly successful film.

TALK: Collecting Ceramics – The Chatsworth Story

Friday 20 March, 6:30pm  Bookings

The current Duke and Duchess of Devonshire are passionate collectors and commissioners of contemporary ceramics, which they display in both the public and private rooms of their home in Derbyshire.

Kate Brindley will join us at Messums Wiltshire to introduce us to the collection that is displayed in the unique setting of Chatsworth House and the Devonshire Collections, amassed by the family over 500 years.

Kate has been the Director of Collections & Exhibition based at Chatsworth since 2017 where her teams oversee the care of the Devonshire Collections and the historic fabric of the House, plus curate the artistic programmes across the family’s estates and charities.

Chatsworth House Trust and the Devonshire family are dedicated to the preservation of the house, art collection, garden, woodlands and park for the long-term benefit of the public.

Photo credit:, the ceramic Chinese Ladders by Felicity Aylieff made in 2007.