Close up of brown dog's face

The Dog Exhibition at Chatsworth

10, Apr 2019 | Chatsworth, What's On

It’s a dog’s life at Chatsworth House

This year, up until the end of October, Chatsworth House has an exhibition dedicated to The Dog. Inspired by the Duchess of Devonshire who like us has lived and loved dogs all her life, the exhibition provides a fascinating insight into the role of dogs through history. The Devonshire’s collection of art spans over sixteen generations with the exhibition showcasing works of art, sculpture, tapestry, trophies and memorabilia all relating to their own dogs; dogs that belong to royalty and the Kennel Club.

The exhibition is carefully weaved throughout the house with displays, objects and information within each room. Works included cover a range of styles, media and time. Artists include Faberge, a giant Poddle by the American artist Jeff Koons, one of Antony Gomley’s Lost Dogs and a collar, worn by a dog trained to find wounded or dead soldiers during the First World War. Works of art are also on loan from the Royal household and the Victorian and Albert museum. A particularly moving piece of embroidery by Mary Queen of Scots from the Oxburgh Hangings, which is under restoration, depicts her own dog Jupiter. It is said that Mary’s executioner found a small Skye Terrier in the folds of her dress after her execution. The dog would not leave her side and had to be forcibly removed. It is claimed it later died after refusing to eat.

It’s amazing how many dogs feature in works of art within the house. In the State Bedroom room new lighting has been positioned to see dogs you may not know were even there, hidden in freezes around the room. Overall, the exhibition blends in seamlessly with the splendour of the house.

The Devonshire’s have a close relationship with dogs which is very evident. They are also proud to be working with the charity Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, who provide fantastic support for so many people. We get great pleasure walking with our own dog Jasper at Chatsworth in the gardens and surrounding park land. If you look closely, he makes it into the clip, pictured beneath the great sculpture in the garden.

The exhibition this year really gives dog lovers the opportunity to realise why they are called “Man’s best friend”. If you are planning to visit Chatsworth House and gardens, we can provide guests with special offers and discounted tickets. There is no need to book, just let us know during your stay. We also have discounted car parking tickets if you are just planning to walk in the Parkland.

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