Stars to shine at Chatsworth

There will be a stellar cast at Chatsworth next month when a major new literary festival takes place there.

More than 20 of art’s leading makers, curators and writers appearing at The Chatsworth Festival – Art Out Loud, which runs for three days from September 18-20.

Believed to be first literary festival dedicated to art, speakers include Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry CBE; contemporary conceptual artist and painter Michael Craig-Martin; writer and BBC arts editor Will Gompertz; Royal Academy director Tim Marlow on Ai Weiwei; novelists Esther Freud and Hannah Rothschild; and many more.

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Talks will take place in a marquee on the private South Lawn and in the historic Theatre.

Tickets are on sale at priced at £12.50 per talk and include entry to garden. Chatsworth will run a Festival Bookshop, selling recently published and other books by a selection of the speakers.

The three-day event is inspired by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s passion for art. “We’re delighted to be able to give our visitors the opportunity to hear some of the country’s leading artists, collectors, authors and journalists and talking about their work.

“The lives of all our speakers, one way or another, have been immersed in art and we think their experiences and involvement in the creative process will provide some truly fascinating talks,” said The Duke of Devonshire.

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Art Out Loud is the latest addition to a burgeoning arts scene at Chatsworth and the event will run alongside the tenth anniversary of the Beyond Limits monumental sculpture exhibition in the garden starting in September.

The Make Yourself Comfortable exhibition of contemporary seating takes place in the house until October while the Grand Tour programme of exhibitions and events began in July, in conjunction with Nottingham Contemporary, the Harley Gallery and Derby Museums.

Chatsworth has a long association with the literary world. The Duke of Devonshire owns the antiquarian bookshop Heywood Hill in Mayfair where his aunt Nancy Mitford, author of Love in a Cold Climate, worked during WWII, while his mother Deborah Cavendish was a successful published author of more than a dozen books including Wait for Me and Tearing Haste.

On Friday, September 18: Tim Marlow, the writer, broadcaster and art historian talks about Ai Weiwei as a major new exhibition of the artist’s work opens at the Royal Academy where Marlow is Director of Artistic Programmes; Hannah Rothschil, the writer and film director is in conversation with Rachel Campbell-Johnston about her first novel The Improbability of Love, which was published in May.

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On Saturday, September 19: The Duke of Devonshire will be in conversation with Rachel Campbell-Johnston, discussing the continuing work being done to establish Chatsworth as an important destination for contemporary art; Fiona McCarthy, the award winning biographer of Eric Gill and William Morris, talks about her long-held fascination with the process of making and how it inspires her books, including her new book about Walter Gropius; internationally successful artists Joseph Walsh and Kevin Francis Gray discuss the artistic process behind their work in conversation with Rachel Campbell-Johnston.

On Sunday, September 20: Novelist Esther Freud discusses her latest book featuring Charles Rennie Mackintosh and explains how her experiences with her father Lucian helped her find the right tone and line;

the ceramicist and Turner prize-winner Grayson Perry considers art history’s web of connections and influences and what they mean for artists; Simon Jenkins, the journalist, author and former chairman of the National Trust, raises questions about the role of the historic house in the 21st century and how best to balance the interests of the house and the visiting public.

See for more.