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Art, Exhibitions, but most of all a family home (4th March 2014)

The National Trust's Dudmaston Estate will be opening for their 2014 season on 16 March which will see the property begin to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of the First World War with a focus on the family’s involvement.

In the Darby Gallery the Hall will commemorate the service of Captain Geoffrey Wolryche Whitmore, (the Uncle of Rachel, Lady Labouchere) during his time in Egypt. Geoffrey served behind the lines and his story is one of frustration and an unjustified feeling of lack of worth. Being extremely hard of hearing Geoffrey was held back in Cairo when his unit moved on to the front. He took a job training officers in topography and visitors can find out, through his letters home, how this affected him, and his frustration at not being able to do “his bit”. In addition there will also be a display of the War at home based on the numerous diaries of his sister Evelyn; the time spent nursing by his sister Olive (Rachel's mother); and the photographs of the young Rachel, who spent much of her time with her cousins, the Hamilton-Russells, at Burwarton.

The end of July will see a national art project brought to Dudmaston, with an installation by Alec Finlay, reflecting on all aspects of conflict, entitled ‘there were our own, there were the others’. This will be held in the Spanish Gallery, thus linking the works of artists influenced by the conflicts of the Franco regime that Sir George Labouchere collected during his time as British Ambassador in Spain.

In the Old Kitchen Gallery visitors will be the given the opportunity to get creative by trying their hand at collage on the new “Art Wall”. Working alongside the artwork created by Elizabeth Rowe, the Artist in Residence during 2013, this will be a great opportunity for visitors to create their own piece of art, maybe tying it in with the galleries just visited within the Hall.

Visitor Experience and Conservation Manager, Tessa Lovell said “Dudmaston is a much loved family home. With echoes of its 17th century origins and the 1960s decor of its last chatelaine Rachel, Lady Labouchere, the family rooms show a country house which has been, and still is, loved and lived in; with the many photographs that adorn the rooms, and photo album in the Oak room, we are hoping our visitors will enjoy putting the many different names of Dudmaston to faces this season”.