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Great Houses of Scotland and Their Treasures

Weekend All-Day Lecture/Seminar

Saturday, May 4, 2024 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1M2318
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Abbotsford, located in the Scottish Borders (Photo: LeCardinal)

The architecture and interiors of Scotland’s finest historic houses uniquely reflect the country’s heritage and culture. Spend a day exploring more than 400 years of splendor from fortified 16th-century tower houses and palaces of Baroque extravagance to elegant 18th-century residences and exuberant revival styles of the Victorian period.

In a richly illustrated journey into history, cultural historian Lorella Brocklesby examines why so many of these residences, including three significant palaces, were fashionably updated over the centuries. Admire Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford, which promoted a growing passion for medieval Scotland; examine Robert Adam masterpieces; and conclude in a wonderful Art Nouveau music room and an Edwardian kitchen.

Brocklesby, an adjunct professor in the School of Professional Studies at New York University, is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a life member of the National Trust for Scotland.

10­–11:15 a.m.  Renaissance Inspiration and Soaring Tower Houses

Traquair House, one of Scotland’s oldest inhabited homes; Crathes, renowned for rare wall paintings, an impressive long gallery, and a royal treasure; Craigevar, a soaring residence in a lovely setting; the great hall of Castle Fraser; Falkland Palace, once a residence of the Stuart kings.

11:30 a.m.­–12:45 p.m. Baroque Theatricality, Georgian Splendor, and Classical Harmony

Skaill House, Orkney; 17th-century illusion in Argyll House, Stirling; Hopetoun House near Edinburgh with a lovely carved staircase, 18th century furnishings, and Rococo delights; Traquair’s library; the exquisite rooms at the House of Dun; Leith Hall, set in splendid gardens.

12:45–1:15 p.m.  Break

1:15–2:30 p.m. Late Georgian Elegance and Early 19th-Century Fashions

Pollok House near Glasgow, reflecting Chinoiserie style; lovely Mellerstain House, completed by the renowned Scottish architect Robert Adam, and his masterpieces at Culzean Castle in Edinburgh; Gothic revival at Scone Palace, featuring Queen Victoria’s bedroom.

2:45­–4 p.m. From Victorian Exuberance to Art Nouveau

Medieval revival and treasures at Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford; the Victorian rooms at magnificent Haddo House; Gosford House near Edinburgh; the House for an Art Lover by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, with its remarkable Art Nouveau music room; the Edwardian kitchens of Pollok House.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1 credit*

General Information

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.