News Archive

Private View held by Richard Andrews

Last updated : 10th January 2007


Art For The Nation traces Britain's long and defining relationship with the sea, reflecting British Maritime heritage, in commerce exploration and empire, as interpreted by the nation's greatest artists. As well as marine painting, subjects cover portraiture, history painting and landscape, treating the themes of encounter, colonialism and global exploration, shipwreck, battle and spectacle, as well as personality and the cult of the hero. Among some 200 paintings are portraits by Joshua Reynolds, whose full length portrait of Augustus Keppel established his career, Thomas Gainsborough's 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Francis Rigaud's Horatio Nelson, George Romney's Emma Hamilton, and Wiliam Hogarth's cabin scene with Lord George Graham; landscapes from William Hodges's '(Cascade Cove) Dusky Bay' and 'A View of Point Venus and Matavai Bay, looking east' from his record of Cook's second voyage in the Pacific, to Canaletto's 'Greenwich Hospital from the North Bank of the Thames'; and marine paintings including Charles Brooking's 'An English Vice-Admiral of the Red and his Squadron at Sea', 'An East Indiaman in a Fresh Breeze' and 'Greenland Fishery: English Whalers in the Ice', Eugene Boudin's 'Trouville, Awaiting the Tide', and William van de Velde the Younger's 'A Dutch Ship Scudding Before a Storm', 'A Royal Visit to the Fleet in the Thames Estuary' and 'An English Ship in Action with Barbary Corsairs'. Queen's House, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich until 2nd September.

The Old Order And The New: P H Emerson And Photography (1885 - 1895) showcases the work of photographer Peter Henry Emerson, which combined new techniques and technology in a bid to record and preserve the traditional life of East Anglia at the end of the 19th century. Emerson invented a new type of art photography, called 'naturalism', which used soft focus to show things as natural eyesight sees them. To get the ideal picture, other photographers often took several photographs and combined the best parts into one image in the darkroom. Emerson believed a photograph should be made in one instant, and that the most important thing to capture was the action of light, even if mist or haze might make everything slightly out of focus. He used the new mechanical printing process of photogravure (an image produced photo mechanically using printer's ink rather than a chemical process), through which photographs can look like etchings. Emerson believed that photography could be art - he took all the photographs, but his artist friend T F Goodall sometimes helped choose subjects. The resulting images had much in common with landscape and countryside genre paintings of the time. All his photographs tell a story. They centre on portraits of local 'characters', capturing both their manner of dress and their rural crafts, and the open empty landscapes and big skies of East Anglia, both of which were soon to alter irrevocably with the encroachment of industry. National Media Museum until 4th February.

London Before And After The Great Fire: Etchings by Wenceslaus Holler 1607-1677 features work by the artist to whom we owe much of our knowledge about London's appearance before the Great Fire. Wenceslaus Hollar was a prolific artist of buildings and street scenes, who also excelled at drawing maps, panoramas, portraits and costume. This display comprises over 40 of his etchings, including his four large panoramas of Westminster, the City, Greenwich, and the ruins of the 1666 fire - all masterpieces. Hollar's Great Map of London was sadly never completed, but the only surviving sheet, showing Covent Garden and the Strand, is an unrivalled example of a mid 17th century 'map-view', where every building is shown in bird's-eye perspective. He delighted in intricate detail as well as the big picture: close inspection of his London etchings reveals beggars in the streets of Bankside, archers in the fields of Clerkenwell, and men clambering on to platforms to view a Tower Hill execution. Holler's work provides a unique and invaluable record of London during times of catastrophe, and great political and social change. Guildhall Library Print Room, Aldermanbury, London EC2, until 12th May.


Bound For Glory: America In Colour 1939 - 1943 is an exhibition of rarely seen colour photographs from the Farm Security Administration archive of the Library of Congress in Washington. They were taken across America to bolster support for President Roosevelt's New Deal Programme, which was created to battle the poverty of the Depression in the 1930s. The colour photographs gave a fresh reality to the documenting of this period, made possible by the newly developed Kodachrome colour film, introduced in 1936. In America in the 1930s and 1940s one third of the population were 'ill clothed, ill housed and ill-fed'. Until now the grinding poverty of the time has been epitomised by the iconic black and white images of Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and others - also featured in this exhibition - but these colour images by Marion Post Wolcott, Russell Lee and Jack Delano have an almost shocking immediacy, and bring to life the human cost of the Depression. These vivid scenes and portraits capture the effects on America's rural and small town populations, the nation's subsequent economic recovery and industrial growth, and the country's great mobilisation for the Second World War. Although some 700 of the colour images that had lain forgotten in the Library of congress (after a classic case of bureaucratic misfiling) were 'rediscovered' by historian Sally Stein in 1978, they still remain largely unseen in both America and the outside world. Photographer's Gallery, London until 28th January.

Snowdomes is a celebration of tourism's single greatest contribution to popular culture, featuring an eclectic mix of historical, contemporary and newly commissioned work inspired by these popular miniatures and curiosities. Highlights include: one of the original snowdomes, invented by a manufacturer who encased ceramic models of the brand new Eiffel Tower in palm sized glass globes, magnified with water and fake snow, as souvenirs of the 1889 Paris Expo; an installation of 450 snowdomes from Nancy McMichael's collection of over 5,000, designed by Michael Davies; radically divergent new works commissioned from Anne Brodie, Kamini Chahaun, Richard Clegg, Mat Collishaw, Robert Doisneau, David Emerick, Len Horsey, Sarah Woodfine and Simon Woolham; Julian Germain's photo biography of 11 snowdome enthusiasts from around the world with their collections; a 'living snowdome' - a magical, engaging, visual and sensory experience by fashion designer Gareth Pugh; plus several individual personal collections, and a wide range of snowdome memorabilia. National Glass Centre, Sunderland until 4th March.

William Powell Frith: Painting The Victorian Age is the first exhibition for over 50 years of work by the quintessential yet radical and innovative Victorian artist, who has been hailed as the greatest British painter of the social scene since Hogarth. This display not only brings together Frith's three great and iconic 'modern life' panoramas, 'Life at the Seaside (Ramsgate Sands)', 'Derby Day', and 'The Railway Station (Paddington)', but also comprises more than 100 other paintings, drawings and engravings, including 'Many Happy Returns of the Day', 'Private View at the Royal Academy', 'The Crossing Sweeper' and the series 'Morning', 'Noon' and 'Night', as well as portraits such as 'Annie Gambart', 'After the Bath' and 'Did You Ring, Sir?'. The exhibition charts Frith's career from childhood copies of Dutch prints, through his first success, with colourful and detailed pictures drawn from historical and literary sources that included his great friend Charles Dickens, and his social panoramas, (where every picture truly does tell a story), to his late Hogarthian moralising series 'The Race for Wealth', about the contemporary passion for reckless financial speculation, and 'The Road to Ruin', five paintings showing a man's descent into gambling induced poverty. Guildhall Art Gallery, London, until 4th March.

The Past From Above: Through The Lens Of Georg Gerster presents over 100 aerial photographs of archaeological and heritage sites from across the globe taken by the Swiss photographer Georg Gerster. These images range from natural phenomena such as Uluru in Australia, to man made wonders such as the Ziggurat of Ur in Iraq, or the Great Wall of China, providing a 'world tour' of the great monuments of human civilisation. These unique images reveal the scale of mankind's achievements, as well as highlighting the complex relationship between culture and nature - humans have shaped nature but are also shaped by it. To provide insights into these people, the exhibition also features objects displayed alongside some of the photographs, which help to complete the picture of the civilizations and the monuments that defined them. A stone hand-axe, one of the earliest objects made by humans from the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, is on view beside a photograph of the site; a Mummy portrait by an image of the Kharga Oasis; and a seated Buddhist goddess next to a shot of Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. The objects personalise these imposing sites, re-emphasising the part humans played in their construction or, in some cases, destruction. The photographs also serve as reminders of the transience of culture and civilizations. In many instances the photographs are a reminder of times that have passed, beliefs that have faded, and empires that have crumbled. From a career spanning over 45 years, Georg Gerster has a collection of over 8,000 such aerial photographs, taken in more than 50 countries. The British Museum until 11th February.

Recent Acquisitions Of British Drawings And Watercolours comprises some striking and important acquisitions in this field, dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The landscapes and figure subjects cover a broad range of media from pencil to watercolour and pastel. Among the highlights are: 'The Prospect', a watercolour by Samuel Palmer, on public display for the first time, alongside 'Yellow Twilight', one of the last works from his Shoreham period; JMW Turner's 'Christ Church, Oxford'; 'Noctes Ambrosianae', a pastel of the interior of the Middlesex Music Hall by Walter Sickert; a watercolour by Richard Parkes Bonington; a design by Sir James Thornhill for the chapel of All Souls College, Oxford; 'An Exhibition at the Old Town Hall in 1854' by George Pyne, depicting several Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces; 'Wittenham Clumps', a drawing by Paul Nash of the landmark near Didcot; a group of watercolours by John Piper; 'Pine-wood, North West Gale' by Michael Ayrton; and a sketchbook of nude studies of Beatrice Warde by Eric Gill. The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford until 18th February.

In The Face Of History: European Photographers In The 20th Century charts European photography from 1910 to the present day, with a range of portraits, landscapes, street scenes and still life. The works, defined as 'subjective documentary', are characterised by an intense closeness between the photographer and their subject. From images of decadent Paris in the 1930s, to flower power in 1960s Amsterdam, photographers who are immersed within the world they portray capture moments in history. Alongside iconic images by Brassai, Robert Doisneau and Wolfgang Tillmans, there are pictures by previously undiscovered photographers from the former Eastern bloc, many never seen in Britain before. The photographs embrace dramatic world events: Andre Kertesz carried his camera to the front as a conscript in the Austro Hungarian army, whilst Henryk Ross was the official photographer of the ghetto at Lodz; social and cultural changes, tracked by photographers operating outside the mainstream: Christer Stromholm, lived amongst a community of transsexuals in 50s Paris, and Anders Petersen's 'Cafe Lehmitz' chronicles the lives of prostitutes and addicts in Hamburg's red light district; and personal histories: Annelies Strba's 3 screen projection 'Shades of Time' traces her children growing up, from snapshots with cats in cluttered bedrooms, to their lives today with children of their own, and Seiichi Furuka's intense portraits of his wife over an 8 year period concluding with her suicide. Barbican Art Gallery until 28th January.


David Teniers And The Theatre Of Painting tells the story of one of the most remarkable artistic enterprises of the 17th century: David Teniers' publication of the Theatrum Pictorium or 'Theatre of Painting', the first illustrated printed catalogue of a major paintings collection. David Teniers was court artist to the Governor of the Southern Netherlands, whose collection comprised some 1,300 works, including paintings by Holbein, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Van Eyck, Raphael, Giorgione, Veronese and Titian. This exhibition includes Teniers's first detailed visual compendium of the collection in 'Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in his Picture Gallery', and later, further acquisitions in 'Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in his Gallery in Brussels'. Teniers then embarked on an illustrated catalogue of 243 of the Archduke's most admired Italian paintings, which became the Theatrum Pictorium. He employed a team of 12 engravers to reproduce the paintings, and in order to ensure the accuracy of their work, made small copies in oil of each of the chosen works, issuing them as models. 25 of these copies are featured in the exhibition, displayed alongside the prints from the Theatrum for which they were made, and Teniers's little known painted design for the frontispiece, showing a portrait of the Archduke and two of his favourite paintings. There also are several examples of the Theatrum, including a rare 1660 edition with the Archduke's coat of arms, a copy owned by Joshua Reynolds, and one lavishly introduced in four languages. The Courtauld Institute, London until 21st January.

Beyond The Maker's Mark: Paul de Lamerie Silver celebrates the work of Paul de Lamerie, London's leading 18th century silversmith. In addition to items from the permanent collection, the display includes around 50 pieces of de Lamerie silver from the American Cahn Collection, which includes some of the most important pieces of de Lamerie silver in private hands, such as the Maynard Dish and the Turtle Tureen, and many works that have never before been on public view. In the first half of the 18th century, London was a centre for the production of luxury goods, and de Lamerie's pieces set the standard for luxury and fine craftsmanship. The popularity of coffee and tea, and introduction of new foods, gave rise to a range of specialized wares and serving vessels. De Lamerie's mark appears on numerous objects of silver, ranging from candelabra to complete dinner services. The exhibition explores de Lamerie's career, including his patrons, the evolution of his style, and the organisation of his highly successful business. Among the most splendid pieces are: the Chesterfield Wine Cooler, with cast dolphin handles and four panels chased with the Elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water); the Newdigate Centrepiece, richly decorated with bold scrollwork, flowers, shells and helmetted putti; the Walpole Salver, which has engraving attributed to William Hogarth, with seal roundels supported by a figure of Hercules, flanked by allegorical figures representing Calumny and Envy, with a view of the City of London; and the Ilchester Ewer And Basin, with the handle of the ewer in the form of a mermaid with long flowing hair supporting its body with her arm. Victoria & Albert Museum until 21st January.

David Hockney Portraits is the most comprehensive survey of the artist's portraits ever staged, comprising almost 200 works - paintings, drawings, prints, sketchbooks and photocollages - made over the past five decades. Offering the opportunity to see many works together for the first time, it provides a visual diary of the life, loves and friendships of one of the most admired British artists of his generation. The portraits provide insights into the Hockney's intense observations of the people he has charted over many years, including his parents, designer Celia Birtwell, art dealer John Kasmin and some of the leading cultural figures of the 20th century, such as Andy Warhol, Man Ray, Christopher Isherwood, Lucien Freud and W H Auden. Some of Hockney's most personal and powerful works are included in the exhibition, starting with very early self portraits and studies of his father created during his years at Bradford School of Art. Also brought together are the almost life size double portraits 'Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott', 'American Collectors (Mr and Mrs Weisman)', 'My Parents' and 'Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy'. While showcasing major examples of Hockney's work from his time in Britain and California, including 'Peter Getting out of Nick's Pool' and 'Divine', the exhibition concludes with new work, marking his return to large scale painted portraits. It also celebrates Hockney's many innovations in the art of portraiture, from his Cubist influenced photographic collages of the 1980s to his recent camera lucida drawings. National Portrait Gallery until 21st January.