DUNHAM’S LOST YEARS
CLIENT: THE NATIONAL TRUST
After the success of ‘Sanctuary From the Trenches’, the National Trust asked us to return to Dunham Massey to re-theme the house on the topic of the seventh earl, his circus bride and the impact of his unconventional marriage on the estate.
The core of ‘Dunham’s Lost Years’ was a hole in Dunham’s collection and archive. The Earl had taken most of the ancestral silver and art away to another of his properties, so the story had to fill a dozen rooms without any artefacts or much curatorial evidence to build on.
Inspired by the couple’s Victorian contemporary Charles Dickens, we ‘serialised’ the tale. Each room was an instalment in the saga; soundscapes, art installations and rare snippets of letters and diaries re-imagined a critical time in the house’s history. We also researched and presented the gaps in the collection today, where artworks had been sold but which can now be found in private collections around the world.