Tag Archives: watercolour history

Exhibition: ‘Places of the Mind’ at the British Museum

River-landscape

‘River Landscape;, by Ambrose McEvoy, c.1910

Ambrose McEvoy’s River Landscape is one of a few watercolours from the Edwardian era (or thereabouts) featured in the current British Museum exhibition Places of the Mind: British watercolour landscapes, 1850-1950. The exhibition focusses on the hundred years following the death of J.M.W. Turner, drawing parallels between watercolourists (and the odd pastellist and draughtsman) working across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Though the show features many familiar names – from James McNeill Whistler to Paul Nash and Henry Moore  – there are also plenty of unfamiliar faces within the hundred-plus exhibits.

The exhibition is hung thematically rather than chronologically, which means that works from the Edwardian era can be found throughout the room. A fair proportion of them, however, are located in the ‘a new golden age’ section, which explores the reception of watercolours from the late 1890s into the 1910s, with particular reference to the turn-of-the-century surge of interest in the work of the artist Hercules Brabazon Brabazon (1821-1906), whose fluid brushwork attracted the interest of artists associated with the New English Art Club, with whom he started exhibiting in his seventies. Other key artists in this section include Philip Wilson Steer and McEvoy. Though drawn almost entirely from the British Museum’s own extensive collection, the exhibition representations a unique opportunity to see such a large collection of works of paper from this period. Recommended to all Edwardian scholars and art lovers!

The exhibition is free and runs until August 27th. For more information see here.

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