Displays from The Portland Collection are on show in our award-winning museum and change every two years. The current exhibition ‘Men, Women and Things’ focuses on the inspiring women in the family’s ancestry – from the first female sci-fi writer to one of history’s greatest natural historians.
The extensive Portland Collection was developed over 400 years by an extended English aristocratic family, which descended from Bess of Hardwick.
The collection takes its name from the Dukes of Portland, who owned Welbeck from 1755 to 1977 and whose descendants live there today. […] The Portland Collection is a composite picture of the lives, enthusiasms and eccentricities of ten generations of one family, a few of whom are famous but most of whom are not.
Michael Hall, Treasures of The Portland Collection
Visit to see an astonishing selection of fine art and objects, which range from ancient Roman gems to the pearl earring that Charles I wore at his beheading. Artists include Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Michelangelo, John Singer Sargent, and George Stubbs.
In the Miniatures Octagon, ‘100 Faces’ is on show until May 2022. These jostling displays have been curated by our gallery assistants who are specialists in art, costume, and history. They have drawn on these focus subjects to make sense of this varied selection of works. These miniatures date from the early 1600s to 1934, and range from stereotypical images of beauty, to comical wigs and hairstyles – and even some portraits which appear like mythical or fantasy figures, evoking elements of the macabre.