TALK & BOOK LAUNCH: with Author Professor Caroline Dakers ‘Fonthill Recovered – A Cultural History’
Friday 18 May, 6:30pm Bookings
On Friday 18 May, Caroline Dakers, Professor of Cultural History at Central Saint Martins (University of Arts London) will join us to launch her new book ‘Fonthill Recovered – A Cultural History’ and discuss the legacy of William Beckford’s estate. Messums Wiltshire was once itself owned by Beckford as part of the Fonthill estate.
Situated less than a mile away from the gallery, the writer and collector William Beckford built his Gothic fantasy house Fonthill Abbey at the end of the eighteenth century. The collapse of the Abbey’s tower in 1825 transformed the name Fonthill into a symbol for overarching ambition and folly. However Beckford’s Abbey is only one of several important houses to be built on the estate since the early sixteenth century.
Caroline’s recent books include a new edition of Forever England (2016). She has also curated exhibitions at Leighton House Museum, London such as ‘George Aitchison: Leighton’s Architect Revealed’ (2012) and ‘Artists at Home: The Holland Park Circle’ (1999-2000).