Fig 1 Charles John Holmes, The Red Ruin, Lucerne, 1906, 46 x 81, Private Collection
Samuel Shaw is right to remind us of the neglected Edwardian and inter-war landscape painter, Charles John Holmes. As a clever artist occupying panjandrum positions in the art world his work was arguably hidden in plain sight. Rediscovering his pictures is a bit like finding, years from now, that Sir Nicholas Serota had been quietly exhibiting all along in the New English Art Club.
Holmes began to show at the NEAC in 1900 and continued every year thereafter until his death in 1936. In the mid-eighteen-nineties he was ‘discovered’ by Charles Ricketts and Charles Haslewood Shannon, a ‘power couple’ in the art world who published his early essays in the little magazines with which they were associated. Short books followed on Hokusai (1899) and Constable (1902), with a perceptive account of contemporary collecting (1903). Continue reading
The exhibition ‘Rothenstein’s Relevance: Sir William Rothenstein and his Circle’ will open at the Ben Uri Gallery on Boundary Road in London on September 11th. It will be Ben Uri’s first exhibition on this hugely influential figure and is a partial tour of the Bradford exhibition, From Bradford to Benares: the art of Sir William Rothenstein (Cartwright Hall Gallery, 7 March – 12 July 2015), reconfigured for its London showing.
The exhibition comprises approximately 40 works including paintings, works on paper and archival material and aims to re-examine the significance, influence and continuing importance of Rothenstein’s artistic achievements. The exhibition will examine major themes from Rothenstein’s career including Jewish subjects, portraiture and figure studies (in Paris, London and Gloucestershire) and the First and Second World Wars. These will be contextualised by work on similar themes by a number of mostly younger contemporaries including Barnett Freedman, Mark Gertler, Eric Kennington, Jacob Kramer, Albert Rutherston and Alfred Wolmark, who were all either influenced directly by, or worked alongside, Rothenstein. Continue reading
Posted in Exhibitions
Tagged alfred wolmark, art and jewish identity, coster girls, edwardian art, edwardian artists, edwardian painting, eric kennington, jacob kramer, jewish artists, mark gertler, william rothenstein
Augustus John, ‘Moses and the Brazen Serpent’, 1899
The most significant part of the University College London Art Museum consists of work by students and staff of the Slade School of Fine Art. The Slade was founded in 1871 with the aim of providing progressive art training based on the system of education in the French Academy with its emphasis on intensive study from the life model. From its earliest years the Slade awarded annual prizes for painting in categories such as figure painting, head painting and painting from antique casts. With the appointment of Frederick Brown as Slade Professor in 1892 a new painting prize, the Summer Composition Prize, was introduced. Students were given a set title (such as ‘Bathers’ or ‘The Play Scene from Hamlet’) and expected to produce a large-scale multi-figure work over the summer vacation which would be judged publicly at the beginning of the autumn term Continue reading
Spencer Gore, The Artist’s Wife, c.1911
Birmingham Museums Trust runs nine museum sites across the city of Birmingham, the most prominent of which is the Birmingham Art Gallery, which opened in 1885. Though famous for its collection of Pre-Raphaelite art, the gallery also owns many major works by Edwardian artists, including the Birmingham-born Henry Tonks (1862-1937) and Arthur Joseph Gaskin (1862-1928) and the Birmingham-based Joseph Edward Southall (1861-1944).
1. Arthur Gaskin, The Twelve Brothers (1898)
2. John Byam Liston Shaw, The Boer War, (1901)
3. Joseph Edward Southall, Fisherman Carrying a Sail, 1906-7
4. Henry Tonks, The Crystal Gazers, 1905-6 Continue reading
Charles Lambert Rutherston (1866-1927) was the older brother of the artists William Rothenstein (1872-1945) and Albert Rutherston (1881-1953). After training at Bradford’s Technical College and showing some talent as an artist, Charles followed his father into the textile industry. A successful businessman, he remained a keen supporter of the arts and collected widely, from Chinese bronzes to contemporary prints. Rutherston played a key role in the careers of many young artists – including Gwen and Augustus John, Paul Nash, Wyndham Lewis and Henry Moore – as well as being the leading patron of his brother William. Wyndham Lewis noted that Rutherston was one of the few men he allowed into his studio: ‘For him I left the gate ajar. This was not only because one naturally likes people who came “collecting” the works of one’s hands, but because he was one of the pleasantest and least affected people of my acquaintance’. 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
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
‘Nude Study’ by William Orpen, 1906
‘…when I am not at portraits I am painting nudes […] and my word – can a nude ever go well – it seems to me the last word in impossibility. I struggle and struggle and the things get worse and worse – I spent the afternoon in the Louvre looking at Nudes and there are none in the least like a woman – Rembrandt’s seated one is of course a marvel – but its not like a woman – Manet’s nude after all is a poor show – as a woman – and Courbet’s one in the Louvre is a shocker – though I remember seeing photographs of some nude woman of his a long time ago which looked wonderful – Forgive me writing all this stuff – I’ll have a drink and forget it’ (William Orpen, letter to William Rothenstein, 22nd November 1921)