About us

History of The Foundation

Ivy, Duchess of Portland set up The Harley Foundation in 1978. It is a charitable trust which works to encourage the enjoyment of the visual arts and to celebrate the handmade.


The Foundation works to create spaces where the imagination can flourish. It funds The Harley Gallery and The Portland Collection, which have both won awards for their architecture. The galleries are in The Courtyard at Welbeck, they are free to enter and show a changing programme of art exhibitions.

The Harley Gallery shows exhibitions from leading contemporary artists and makers, with exhibitions changing roughly 5 times a year. The Portland Collection displays the historic art collection of the Dukes of Portland and their families, who have been at Welbeck since 1607. Further objects are often shown, for example in the miniatures and book displays. The gallery will be entirely rehung with a new selection of pieces from the Collection every 3 years.

Events and Education

The Harley Foundation runs a wide variety of events and activities which aim to widen participation and support artists. These events range from tours of the State Rooms at Welbeck Abbey to see The Portland Collection in its historic setting, to half-term family workshops and the annual Welbeck Winter Weekend. See our events listings here.

In addition, our education programme offers workshops for local schools as well as events for HE and FE groups.

Services for Artists

The Harley Foundation also provides services for artists through support schemes, artists’ residencies, and retail opportunities in The Harley Shop. The Foundation also provides subsidised studio spaces.

Ivy, Duchess of Portland envisaged that The Harley Foundation would support artists by offering them low cost studio space in tranquil surroundings. The Harley Studios provide space for up to 25 artists and makers to work in purpose built workspaces in the beautiful surroundings of the Welbeck estate.


The Harley Foundation – Registered Charity Number 276611

The Harley Gallery Trading Limited Company No. 08083700 (England and Wales)

VAT No. GB 137 2648 06