The Oak Spring Garden Library is the proud home of four of Humphry Repton’s (1752-1818) “Red Books,” significant and rare works in the history of landscape design. To celebrate the bicentennial of Repton’s death, the Garden Museum in London recently opened an exhibition, “Repton Revealed: The Art of Landscape Gardening.”
We have loaned the Garden Museum all four of our Red Books for this exhibition, as well as another exhibit-within-an-exhibit, “Repton Rides Again,” about Repton’s work in America.
This exhibit will greatly increase the public’s access to these rare works. We are especially excited to see Oak Spring’s Red Book on Armley House vibrantly brought to life in a video with narration by Jeremy Irons, produced by the Garden Museum with the permission and support of the Oak Spring Garden Foundation.
From the Garden Museum’s press release about the exhibition’s opening:
Our new exhibition celebrates Humphry Repton (1752-1818) and his rare and beautiful Red Books.
Visitors will be able to see how Repton’s career unfolded in this special exhibition which brings together Red Books and watercolour paintings, many never publicly displayed before, to celebrate the bicentenary of his death.
It will display 23 Red Books, so named by Repton due to the distinctive red leather bindings he favoured. Very few remain, and this exhibition reunites the largest number of Red Books in one place in 25 years…
Christopher Woodward, Director of the Garden Museum describes opening one of Repton’s Red Books as “One of the great treats of garden history. They’re probably the most seductive client presentations ever made…”
The exhibition includes objects from around the world, and from public and private collections, including the Royal Collection Trust, the British Library, Royal Academy of Arts, and The Oak Spring Garden Foundation.
For more on Humphry Repton, the Garden Museum and the new exhibit, read the full press release here: