The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, rather like Bradford’s Cartwright Hall Gallery, is very much a product of the Edwardian Era. Designed by Frederick Wills and funded by the tobacco magnate Sir William Wills, building started in 1901 and was completed in 1906. The gallery’s Edwardian origins are currently brought to the fore by the display of two major paintings in the foyer: Ernest Board’s historical re-enactment of Italian explorer John Cabot’s departure from Bristol in the fifteenth century (painted in 1906), and Roderick MacKenzie’s monumental depiction of the 1903 Delhi Durbar. A selection of Victorian and Edwardian paintings (including Talmage’s Mackerel Shawl) are currently on display elsewhere in the gallery. Continue reading
Alvin Langdon Coburn, ‘The Door in the Wall’
We are pleased to announce the schedule for our third annual conference, ‘Enchanted Edwardians’ (30th-31st March, University of Bristol). Please see below for details. Tickets cost £12.00 and can be purchased here (places are limited, so book now to avoid disappointment). The fee includes lunch and tea on both days.
Monday 30th March
9.30 – 10.15: Registration
10.15 – 10.30: Introduction Continue reading
The Cartwight Hall in 1904
The Cartwight Hall Art Gallery in Bradford is one of the great Edwardian art galleries. It was designed by Simpson & Allen (whose other works included the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow, 1901) and named in honour of the inventor Edmund Cartwright, inventor of the power loom and the combing machine, both of which had played a huge part in Bradford’s prosperous textile industry. The building was funded largely by Samuel Lister, a local industrialist, and opened in 1904, during Bradford’s exhibition of Art and Industry. The opening exhibition was a survey of British art which culminated in the work of local artists such as William Rothenstein, William Shackleton and Ernest Sichel. Continue reading
Registration for our third annual conference, ‘Enchanted Edwardians’, to be held at the University of Bristol on March 30th-31st, has now opened! Tickets cost £12.00 and can be purchased here. A draft schedule will be posted shortly.
Edwardian culture is filled with otherworldly encounters: from Rat and Mole’s meeting with Pan on the riverbank in Wind in the Willows (1908), to Lionel Wallace’s glimpse of an enchanted garden beyond the green door in H. G. Well’s short story The Door in the Wall (1911). In art, Charles Conder’s painted fans evoked an exotic arcadia, whilst the music of Edward Elgar and Frederick Delius conjured up nostalgic dreamlands.
Such encounters are all the more powerful because of their briefness: the sense that enchantment is, as Kipling suggests in Puck of Pook’s Hill, fast becoming a thing of the past. What room was left for fantasy in the modern, scientifically advanced world of the early twentieth century? This conference seeks to explore this question, and to investigate other ways in which the Edwardians understood and employed the idea of the enchanted, the haunted and the supernatural.
‘Enchanted Edwardians’ is the third annual conference of the Edwardian culture network, and is organized by Bristol postgraduate students in partnership with the ECN. Held across two days at the University of Bristol, this inter-disciplinary event is open to postgraduate researchers and academics at any stage of their career.
The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum
As we at the ECN are frequently keen to point out, the Public Catalogue Foundation and BBC Your Paintings have done an amazing job at bringing Edwardian paintings back into the public consciousness. Over the course of this year we intend to put the spotlight on specific collections, and to select a group of ten Edwardian (or near-Edwardian) paintings from that collection.
We start with one of the many galleries that opened during the Edwardian Era. The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum in Bournemouth was founded by Sir Merton (1835–1921) and Lady (1835–1920) Russell-Cotes on Bournemouth’s East Cliff. Commissioned in 1897, the building was completed in 1901 and officially opened in 1907. Continue reading
‘The Browning Readers’ by William Rothenstein, 1900
‘The recent memorial exhibition at the Tate Gallery of works by the late Sir William Rothenstein, held five years after his death, poses a problem that can no longer be avoided. Where exactly does Rothenstein stand in the account of English painting of the first quarter of this century?’ (Home Affairs Survey, August 15th 1950)
On March 14th, The Cartwright Hall Gallery in Bradford will hold a one-day symposium dedicated to the life and work of the artist Sir William Rothenstein (1872-1945), coinciding with the first major exhibition of his work since 1972. The discussion will focus on the question posed above: Where does Rothenstein fit within the narrative/s of late nineteenth and early twentieth century art?
Particular attention will be paid to a series of important cultural encounters that changed the direction of the artist’s life and work. These include: his early training in Paris, turn-of-the-century visits to Spain and Germany, years spent painting in the Jewish East End, his 1910 trip to India, interwar years living in rural Gloucestershire, experiences as a war artist in two World Wars, and his ongoing, sometimes fraught relationship with his home city, Bradford. Although Rothenstein’s life ‘beyond the easel’ will also be discussed (including his roles as critic, collector, patron, gallery-founder and professor), the main aim of the discussion, like the exhibition, will be to put the spotlight on his achievements as a painter, draughtsman and print-maker. Continue reading
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays from the Edwardian Culture Network! Thanks to all those who attended our two conferences this year, at the Universities of Liverpool and Keele. We look forward to meeting many of you at next year’s conference ‘Enchanted Edwardians’ in Bristol!