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Flights of Fancy: Birds at Waddesdon

22 May - 27 October

Flock to Waddesdon this summer for a celebration of birds. Throughout the Manor, Aviary and Gardens discover a range of bird-themed exhibitions, events and activities for all the family.

Flights of Fancy is a rare chance for bird enthusiasts and art lovers alike to explore this beautiful subject through our birds and remarkable displays of porcelain, paintings, drawings and prints. what’s on

In the Manor

The exhibition features the life and work of the recently rediscovered Louis-Denis Armand (1723-1796), a painter at the world-famous Sèvres porcelain manufactory. Widely acknowledged as the most talented bird painter at Sèvres, his birds were initially ‘flights of fancy’, drawn from his wild imagination but as time went on, they gained ornithological accuracy. He also drew exotic birds from life, picking and choosing elements to combine and exaggerate.

As if the birds have broken free, there are a series of interventions throughout the Manor by paper artist Andy Singleton, responding to the collections, the Aviary and Armand’s art.

At the Aviary

The magnificent rococo Aviary at Waddesdon forms part of the exhibition too. Built in 1889 for Baron Ferdinand, the Aviary is home to rare and colourful exotic birds and plays a key role in the conservation programme for several endangered species.

Tell it to the Birds by Jenny Kendler is a contemporary multisensory art installation, located at the Aviary, which invites you to tell a secret to the birds and hear your words translated into birdsong!

In the Gardens

This summer the carpet bedding brings to life Armand’s artistry. Inspired by Flights of Fancy, our gardens team have designed the carpet bedding at the Parterre and the Aviary to translate a drawing of two orioles into a bed of succulents. Perched nearby are the impressive 3D birds, who are showing off their wonderful fancy plumage.

Coming soon is a Waddesdon Bird Spotting Guide to be available from our new Conservation Hub which opens in June. See what birds you can spot on your walk around the grounds.


Waddesdon Manor
near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP18 0JH United Kingdom + Google Map

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