Exhibit of William Kent Drawings, Books, Sculpture, Gardens at Bard Graduate Center

William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, on view at the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture from September 20, 2013 to February 9, 2014, is the first major exhibition to examine the life and career of one of the most influential designers in eighteenth-century Britain. As most of his best known surviving works are in Britain’s great country houses, the exhibition is rich in loans from private as well as public collections. 

The exhibition is divided into ten sections that introduce specific aspects of Kent’s work, including signature private and royal commissions, and important periods in his career. Organized by the Bard Graduate Center in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, it is curated by Susan Weber (BGC) and Julius Bryant (V&A).

William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, is accompanied by related gallery programs and a fully-illustrated exhibition catalogue edited by Susan Weber, and published with Yale University Press. Presenting twenty-one essays by leading scholars of eighteenth century British art, architecture, and design, including Julius Bryant (co-curator), Geoffrey Beard, John Harris, John Dixon Hunt, Frank Salmon, and David Watkin, it is richly illustrated with over 600 color images, including the pieces featured in the exhibition. A chronology of Kent’s projects, an exhibition checklist, and an extensive bibliography round out this publication.

The exhibition is generously supported by The Rothschild Foundation, Edward Lee Cave, Dr. H. Woody Brock, Phillip Hewat-Jaboor, Christie’s, John A. Werwaiss, Patricia and Martin Levy, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, Friends of the BADA Trust, Ronald Philips, LTD., and two donors who wish to remain anonymous.
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