For our June talk, Emile de Bruijn agreed to come and talk about his work with the National Trust, specifically how decisions are made about how properties owned by the National Trust should be presented to the public. Looking Emile up on Google, I found 2 really good quotes on Emile and his work in blogs, which you’ll find below. Emile writes a wonderful blog called ‘Treasure Hunt’ which is well worth looking at before you visit a National Trust property.
Here’s a lovely quote from another blog post about Emile:
Emile de Bruijn writes the blog Treasure Hunt for the National Trust- but he really is a hunter- the blog is just one of his tasks there. Emile writes of the hunt- I “co-ordinate acquisitions of works of art and other historic chattels that have left our historic houses in the past.” Emile’s presence at the National Trust’s blog is so highly valued- for me it brings what is already the lively reality of History into my daily life. It has to be the same for all his readers. It is unique unto itself. Emile says his “aim is to share the enjoyment-” that he has done. Looking further, here’s another quote about Emile and his work:
‘A recent posting, for instance, addresses Quebec House, in Westerham, Kent, “the childhood home of James Wolfe, who was born there in 1727 and spent the first 11 years of his life there.” As is often the case with historic properties, one faces the vexing dilemma of choosing a particular period to present over others: in this case, should the Trust go with the a newly-discovered 1630s scheme for the main bedroom or maintain the mid-eighteenth-century presentation that prevails throughout the rest of the house?’From those quotes, you have in essence the basis of Emile’s talk which gave a really good insight into how decisions are made about presenting houses.
Here Paul Holmes from Holmes Music , suppliers of our sound system, checking Emile’s microphone is working properly.
I took a few photos of slides which particularly interested me. The one above shows 4 animal drawings by Philip Webb which were bought by private treaty sale and reside now at the fabulous Wightwick Manor. Home to a fantastic collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings as well as these.
Above the Sarum Misal in the Lyme Park Library is the only surviving, largely intact, copy printed by William Caxton in Paris 1487
A rather poor photo of the authentic living room at Scotney Castle.
The National Trust purchased the original Dalek which can be seen at Sudbury Hall.
Also at Wightwick Manor is a copy of Kelmscot Chaucer by William Morris, this was a gift to the National Trust.
I quite liked the above flow chart outlining how decisions about acquisitions are made, starting with merit assessment.
I’m not sure why I took a photo of this slide. I love Sissinghurst Castle garden and looking at where Vita Sackville-West wrote her books is fantastic.
Finally, by coincidence, I visited Ightham Mote in early June, and stood where this John Singer Sergeant painting was done.Thank you again Emile for a fascinating and thought provoking talk, do watch out for another talk by Emile on Chinese wallpapers.