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An art exhibition full of variety and surprises has no unifying theme save that the paintings all come from National Trust houses. Marc Jordan is inspired

By Marc Jordan   February 1996

The national trust is a curious hybrid, a kind of push-me-pull-you of the heritage world. Its founders set it up at the end of the last century to protect landscape of outstanding natural beauty, then as now threatened by industry, housing and farming. One hundred years later the Trust is one of the largest landowners in England and Wales. Most of us, though, think of it as the guardian of a huge portfolio of country houses, ranging from quaint old manors to classical piles; acquired almost by stealth.

Visiting these buildings is a mass sport in the summer, to such…

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