The Grand Tour: Season One

Season 1 was presented from July to September 2015, featuring work from contemporary artist Pablo Bronstein and architect Rem Koolhaas, drawing on the Devonshire and Portland collections acquired on the original Grand Tours of the 17th and 18th centuries. Joseph Wright’s previously lost paintings were also displayed prior to their conservation.


In a unique collaboration, Pablo Bronstein exhibited at Nottingham Contemporary and Chatsworth, with works responding to the extraordinary Devonshire Collection. At Chatsworth, Bronstein created a new drawing for Old Master Drawings Cabinet based on an alternative way many of the 18th century objects could be used to decorate the house, and in Chatsworth’s New Gallery, Bronstein presented a survey of his witty drawings that reimagine a wide-ranging history of architecture and design.


Chatsworth made its largest loan in 30 years, lending nearly 70 items from the Devonshire Collection chosen by Pablo Bronstein to Nottingham Contemporary. Delft porcelain, 17th and 18th century silverware, Old Master drawings and paintings, furniture and sculpture from Chatsworth were exhibited across the four galleries at Nottingham Contemporary, showing the works in a new light.  Bronstein was commissioned to make a series of new large-scale drawings in response to Chatsworth and its historic collection.


Rem Koolhaas’ exhibition, ‘Elements of Architecture: Corridors and Welbeck Tunnels’ at The Harley Gallery, Welbeck, explored the vast underground ballroom and tunnels at Welbeck, built by the 5th Duke of Portland in the 19th century. The exhibition presents theories about this mythologised architecture through film and photography. It featured photographs by Walter Niedermayr and Hans Werlemann, accompanied by a film installation of the subterranean tunnels.


Derby Museum and Art Gallery presented a painting believed to be by Joseph Wright of Derby. The Colosseum, by Moonlight (c. 1789) was displayed for the first time in over 200 years, along with its companion painting The Colosseum, by Daylight (1789) which was inspired by Wright’s own Grand Tour. The two paintings formed part of the exhibition ‘Wright Revealed’, an insight into the restoration and conservation of the works of Joseph Wright of Derby, one of Britain’s most popular artists. The work had been heavily overpainted, and conservators were in the process of restoring the painting to see what lies underneath.