What's On

Exhibitions, Gardens

Alice's Wonderlands

23 Mar – 30 Oct

Opening times vary

House & Grounds
Free with house and grounds admission
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Join us this year to celebrate the life, collections and legacy of Alice de Rothschild (1847-1922). Discover her key role in Waddesdon’s history with exhibitions and displays, special tours, themed activities, and much more throughout the year.

Alice de Rothschild lived and entertained alongside her brother, Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839-1898), who built Waddesdon, and she inherited the Manor and its contents after his death. A passionate and expert gardener and great collector of Renaissance and 18th-century art, Alice’s story has often been overshadowed by that of her brother. But not any more . . .

In 2022, a programme of exhibitions and displays will explore “Alice’s Wonderlands” and uncover how she put her own stamp on Waddesdon—in contrast to and spite of contemporary expectations—both before and after the death of her brother Ferdinand.

Alice’s Wonderlands exhibition trailer

Watch this short film to find out more about the exhibition before your visit.

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Alice as a collector

From Sèvres porcelain and delicate textiles to Renaissance and 18th-century art, discover Alice de Rothschild’s contribution to Waddesdon’s exceptional collection and its display and conservation.

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Alice as a gardener

Gardening was one of Alice de Rothschild’s great passions. Explore her horticultural legacy and see the principal gardens she created on her estates brought to life in a dedicated exhibition and programme of seasonal garden tours.

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Alice and her estates

Discover how Alice de Rothschild built a life around collecting and gardening, while successfully managing her multiple estates as an independent woman during a turbulent period of history.

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Alice's life, family and friends

Learn more about the real Alice de Rothschild with a dedicated exhibition that shines a spotlight on the life and extraordinary achievements of this lesser known member of the great Rothschild dynasty.

Alice has long been a familiar part of Waddesdon’s story, but one of the most exciting aspects of this exhibition is the new light we are casting on her life and influence. Less well known than she deserves to be, she was an extraordinary woman who stands out in an age dominated by men, intelligent, exacting, discerning and independent, and whose spirit lives on in a place which may have been created by her brother but which she made very much her own. From her gardens and her collecting to her friendships and her love of dogs, everything she did was characterised by energy, passion and a legendary attention to detail. The Centenary is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate her individualism and bring an intriguing personality to a wider audience.

Pippa Shirley, Director of Collections and Gardens at Waddesdon

Press coverage links (please scroll)