‘Although there is nothing we can do to change Harewood’s history and the source of the wealth that built it, we can be more open and inclusive in discussing it and therefore better able to represent the world we live in now.’ – David Lascelles, Earl of Harewood
Intelligence Squared and Harewood House have partnered for this in-person event to explore the power of portraiture in representing Britain’s complex history.
The event coincides with the recent launch of Missing Portraits, a new series commissioned by the Earl and Countess of Harewood David Lascelles and Diane Howse which will become part of the permanent collection at Harewood House. The series depicts people of Afro-Caribbean heritage with a connection to Harewood, the inaugural portrait being of Arthur France, founder of the Leeds West Indian Carnival.
The series is part of an effort to better reflect the history of Harewood, which was built on the vast fortune made by Henry Lascelles through the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Harewood acknowledges the troubled roots of its wealth, and seeks to address the historic lack of diversity within its vast art collection. This situation is not unique to Harewood, which since 1986 has been an educational charity. Whether it’s in the school curriculum or the collections of museums and galleries, the diversity and complexity of Britain’s colonial history is not fully reflected in our understanding of the past.
Panellists Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, journalist Moya Lothian-McLean, artist Thomas J Price, and the Earl of Harewood David Lascelles, will explore questions such as: ‘Why does portraiture matter?’, ‘What are the challenges in unearthing stories that have been buried for so long?’, and ‘How do we move beyond token representation to something more meaningful?’. The event will be chaired by author Yassmin Abdel-Magied.
Join us for what will be a reflective and challenging conversation in the striking surroundings of Harewood’s Gallery.
A link to the zoom broadcast for this event will be emailed to all ticket bookers 24 hours before it is due to begin