Real Studios' new exhibition for The Harley Gallery deploys the sumptuous colours and decorative styles of 18th Century interior design to provide an atmospheric setting for the extravagant collections of Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford. But the showcases reveal far more than just Harley's exquisite taste in art.
Edward Harley: The Great Collector explores how Harley's powerful political family and his marriage to one of England's wealthiest heiresses helped to fund his spectacular collections. Carefully edited and layered displays allow the objects to speak for themselves. Priceless silver, gold, porcelain, ivories, tapestries, paintings and fine books are woven in with his remarkable narrative, revealing a passionate patron of the arts who surrounded himself with the era's finest thinkers, writers and artefacts. The exhibition runs until late 2014.