‘Edwardian Britain has often been described as a golden sunlit afternoon… in fact, modern Britain was born during the reign of Edward VII, when politics, science, literature and the arts were turned upside down’ (Roy Hattersley, 2004)
Scratching The Veneer is a site-specific group exhibition located in the unique venue of the Grade I listed Edwardian Ladies cloakroom. This eclectic exhibition integrates political, social, cultural and historical narratives to expose the darker elements of Edwardian society and evoke connections with society today. The featured artists form a dialogue with the space using themes identified by the curator such as Edwardian class distinction, social hierarchy, sexual relations, sanitation and toxic beauty.
The exhibition runs from 17 November 2016, at The Edwardian Cloakroom – Ladies Side, Clifton, Bristol.
Exhibitors: Poppy Clover, Fiona Costelloe, Rose Chittenden, Heather Griffin, Sam Morgan, Ellie Shipley, Phil Toy, Toby Rainbird-Webb
Curated by Fiona Costelloe.
See here for more information.
“There is a kind of turn in our sentences which is alike but that is because we are worms of the same family.” (Katherine Mansfield)
Recent scholarship on the complicated friendship between Katherine Mansfield and her bestselling author cousin, Elizabeth von Arnim, has done much to shed light on the complex literary and personal connections between these unlikely friends. In spite of their difference in age and outlook on life, von Arnim and Mansfield shared more than just antipodean family connections. Mansfield’s narrator in her early collection of short stories, In a German Pension, bears marked resemblances with the protagonist of Elizabeth and Her German Garden, and von Arnim’s most radical novel, Vera, was written at the height of her intimate friendship with Mansfield. John Middleton Murry dedicated his posthumous collection of Mansfield’s poems to ‘Elizabeth of the German Garden’. Continue reading
Postcard of HMS Dreadnought, c.1906
The Edwardian Culture Network is pleased to announce that our fourth annual conference will be taking place in the autumn of 2017. It will be titled The Spirit of Speed: Culture on the Move in Edwardian Britain, and will be in collaboration with the Edwardian Postcard Project, based at Lancaster University. Further details, including a CFP, will follow later this year.
Joseph Conrad’s Edwardian novel The Secret Agent (1907) is currently being serialized on BBC television, starring Toby Jones and Vicky McClure. Conrad, as previous events listed here have shown, has been adapted multiple times for stage, screen and radio. The last BBC adaptation of The Secret Agent was, in fact, as recent as 1992.
If you know of any other adaptations of Edwardian texts that we have missed this summer, please do let us know!
Spencer Gore, Ballet Scene from ‘On the Sands’, 1910, Yale Center for British Art
The Yale Center for British Art – the largest collection of British art outside the UK – reopened this week after a sixteen-month building conservation project. The re-installation of the collection tells the story of British art from the sixteenth century to the present day, while a special exhibition focuses on the collection of the late Rhoda Pritzker, who purchased a wide range of twentieth-century paintings and sculpture. Several works from the long Edwardian era can currently be seen in the galleries, including the ten images listed below:
- Spencer Gore, Ballet Scene from ‘On the Sands’, 1910
- Walter Sickert, Carolina dell’Acqua, 1903-4
- Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell at her Easel, 1914
- Augustus John, Dorelia in the Garden at Alderney Manor, Dorset, c.1911
- Roger Fry, The Artist’s Garden at Durbins, Guildford, c.1915
- Alfred Munnings, Gypsy Life — The Hop Pickers, 1913
- Frank Brangwyn, Departure of the Bucintoro, 1910
- Charles Ginner, Design for Tiger Hunting Mural in the Cabaret Theatre Club, 1912
- Gwen John, Study of a Nun, Seated at a Table, c.1915
- Spencer Gore, Cambrian Road, Richmond, 1914
Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following CFP:
Modernity and the Shock of the Ancient:
The Reception of Antiquity in the Late 19th and Early 20th Century
June 10th, 2016, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
Two personalities fought for possession of his soul, and he could not always keep back the lower of the two. They interpenetrated…something very, very old projected upon a modern screen. (Algernon Blackwood, The Wave: An Egyptian Aftermath, 1916)
The ancient world was vital to what it meant to be ‘modern’ at the turn of the last century. Yet antique reception in this period is vastly understudied in all areas except that of classical Greece and Rome. At a time when the looting or wholesale destruction of non Graeco-Roman ancient sites is creating new public interest in their importance to modern cultures around the world, it is crucial that this narrow picture is reconsidered.
We invite abstracts for a one -day interdisciplinary conference at the Ashmolean Museum on June 10th, 2016. This conference will re-evaluate the reception of the ancient past in the late 19th and early 20th century, and its relation to constructions of ‘modernity’. It will explore the reception of a geographically diverse antiquity – from Greece and Rome to Egypt, Mesopotamia and East Asia – in a variety of spheres including literature, public art and architecture, museum exhibitions, cinema, and consumer goods. As a new century began, the ‘ancient’ was signalling the ‘modern’ in both popular and high avant-garde culture, and was harnessed to a range of (often opposing) political agendas. In the process, a ‘new’ antiquity was born, the study of which illuminates what it means to be both ‘modern’ and ‘Western’, today as much as in the early 20th century. Continue reading
As noted below, registration is now open for our April 11th symposium, ‘To show a foreigner England: Englishness and the Edwardian Landscape’, organised in association with the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol and sponsored by the Paul Mellon Centre. We look forward to seeing you there on what promises to be a fascinating day. The schedule for the day is as follows:
11.00-11.15: Short introduction
11.15-12.00: Exhibition viewing, with tour by curator Gwen Yarker
David Matless (University of Nottingham): Regions of Englishness
Jessica Feather (Paul Mellon Centre): Collecting Watercolour in Edwardian England: Landscape and Englishness
Bill Greenslade (University of the West of England): Edwardian Afterlives: Thomas Hardy and Wessex
3.30-4.30: Roundtable discussion, with introduction by Ysanne Holt