‘Faces of Change: Nature’s Champions’

Above: Gertrude Jekyll, National Portrait Gallery

National Trust exhibition celebrates the champions of the natural world in partnership with National Portrait Gallery

23 March – 9 June, Dunham Massey, Cheshire

Champions of the natural world, from the 19th century to the present day, will be celebrated in a new exhibition opening at Dunham Massey on 23 March 2019.

The exhibition, ‘Nature’s Champions’ is a partnership between the National Trust and the National Portrait Gallery drawing on portraits from the Gallery’s collection. It will focus on individuals who have transformed the way we perceive, experience and aim to protect the natural world. 

Featured sitters include environmental activists, scientists, poets, politicians, campaigners, gardeners and broadcasters who have affected how we interact with our environment. 

The exhibition includes outstanding paintings, sculptures, photographs and recent commissions.

Gardeners from Gertrude Jekyll to Bob Flowerdew will feature, as well as key figures of the Romantic movement such as William Wordsworth, and early radicals and reformers William Morris and Octavia Hill. 

More recent figures include animal welfare and agriculture campaigners Linda McCartney and Prince Charles, and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough. These are complemented by images of people at the forefront of conservation and research, including Jane Goodall and James Lovelock. 

In each case, the exhibition will chart the sitters’ importance in our evolving understanding of the natural world and how best to protect it. 

Visitors to the exhibition at Dunham Massey will see objects from its very own collection that link the family from Dunham Massey to the sitters, including Gilbert White and Octavia Hill. The exhibition will also feature a film documenting young people’s thoughts about the environment today and shows how they young people were involved in selecting which ‘Nature’s Champions’ made it onto the walls of Dunham Massey for the display.

Jessica Webb, Visitor Experience Manager at Dunham Massey says:

“The ‘Nature’s Champions’ exhibition will invite visitors of all ages to discover or learn more about some of the leading historical and current day figures who have played a key role in promoting and protecting the natural world. We’re delighted to be bringing some of these notable faces to the walls of Dunham Massey as part of our year-long programme celebrating nature and those who care for it.”

After the exhibition leaves Dunham Massey in early June, it will be followed by a photography exhibition featuring the faces of local people who are doing their bit for nature every day. ‘Local Green Guardians’ opens from 29 June and will  also invite visitors to think about what matters to them when it comes to caring for nature and greenspaces, and what they’d fight to protect.

The exhibition part of the National Trust’s year-long programme People’s Landscapes, a series of events and activities that will explore landscapes where people came together to seek dramatic social change.

For more information on ‘Nature’s Champions’ at Dunham Massey visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunham-massey/features/faces-of-change-natures-champions 

For more information on the National Portrait Gallery visit www.npg.org.uk

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