When walking around a very quiet Kemnay House this summer one of the uplifting pleasures has been admiring the many pictures, trinkets and ceramics on display. The collections date back to when Thomas Burnett 2nd of Kemnay took over the estate in 1689.
The walls of the inner hall and dining room display the family portraits, as well as those of past respected employers (such as The Electress of Hanover and George 1st). However, I enjoy studying the less pompous watercolours of everyday life in India from the late 1900s, collected (and sometimes painted) by Arthur Burnett 8th of Kemnay.
Arthur's own sketch books contain intricate and delightful drawings of his travels through India, China and then Africa at the turn of the 20th century, as well as during the 1st World War. His love of art in every form meant that the House was also adorned with carpets and ceramics from the Orient, which make the formal rooms feel warm and rich even on cold winter days.
His daughter Susan inherited his passion for the Arts, both visual and musical, as have her daughters Alice Harman http://www.cow-shed-studio.com and Letitia Smith-Burnett https://www.lsmithburnett.com . Both regularly exhibit here for North East Open Studios and it is with a sad heart that we have had to withdraw from the event this year. We will very much miss the creative buzz of appreciative visitors and inspired artists during the 8 days it runs in September (12th to 20th) https://www.northeastopenstudios.co.uk .
Nik Munro https://nikmunro.smugmug.com , an amazing local landscape and wildlife photographer, was also going to exhibit here for a second year and we wish her all the best, hoping to host her wonderful work again in 2021.
But looking to brighter times ahead, we are busy planning for next year when the house will be open for 28 days offering guided tours, refreshments and art for sale (or just to enjoy) in the entrance gallery. It will be wonderful to finally open the doors and invite you to enjoy history, art and home bakes once more.
*Opening dates and times for 2021 will be advertised on the website from January.