Exhibition time

Renoir’s Girl with a Fan one of the Clark’s Parisian treasures coming to the RA

I know it’s probably more popular to associate summer with beach and countryside pursuits, but probably because of my years teaching and home-schooling summer means museum time to me. Every year there’s at least a couple of exhibitions I plan to get to and then something gets in the way, and before I know it they’re past, and I’ve missed them. This year I’ve been better organized in that I’ve actually booked time off, planned trips away on weekends and got the tickets ahead of time where possible. These are all on my list. Would be so interested to know what exhibitions are on your radar too.

Alfred StevensThe Duchess, on tour from the Clark

1) From Paris: A Taste for Impressionism (Paintings from the Clark)

Giovanni Boldini’s Young Woman Crocheting, on tour from the Clark

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Museum in Williamstown, MA is one of my very favourite American museums. Many of their Impressionist paintings are touring right now and how wonderful it will be to see them again at the Royal Academy from 7 July to 23 September.

Patuxent Room, Winterthur by Michael John Hunt

2) A day trip from London this summer will take us to another exhibition at the American Museum in Britain, on the outskirts of Bath. This one focuses on modern paintings by the British painter Michael John Hunt of two beautiful American Historic Homes, Winterthur and Wynkoop House, Painted Rooms, 10 March – 28 October:

Founded by Henry Francis du Pont, Winterthur is the premier museum of American decorative arts, reflecting both early America and the du Pont family’s life here. Its 60-acre naturalistic garden is among the country’s best, and its research library serves scholars from around the world. Over the years, Hunt has built up a considerable painted archive of the 175 period rooms on view there and, since this is one of the museums on which the American Museum in Britain was modelled, this exhibition in Bath is most appropriate. Hunt has also produced a similar collection of paintings of Wynkoop House, a fine Colonial period stone house in New York State and the largest in Marbletown, when it was built for Cornelius Evert Wynkoop in 1767. Wynkoop, of Dutch descent, was a successful merchant and served as a Major of the Minutemen of Ulster County in the American Revolution.

I’m fascinated to see Hunt’s paintings and of course the American Museum has a wonderful collection of quilts and folk art that are always a pleasure to exam.

The Homestead by Michael John Hunt

3) A few years ago now, I saw a wonderful exhibition of Women in the Land Army in Lymington at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery. This painting by Randolph Schwabe was particularly memorable and was chosen by curator Gill Clarke for the cover of her book on the subject:

Schwabe’s artwork sounds like a fascinating subject for a new St Barbe exhibition at the end of the year, 24 November – 16 February:

Schwabe (1885 – 1948) studied at the Slade School of Art later becoming its Principal from 1930 – 1948. He was employed as an Official War Artist in both world wars, producing a series on ‘Women on the Land’ in the First World War and portraits and drawings of bomb damage in the Second World War. This exhibition will also include his theatrical and ballet drawings, etchings, watercolours and book illustrations, many of which have not been on public display before. It will be accompanied by a fully illustrated book by Gill Clarke, published by Sansom & Co.

Image of Cottages on Titmore Green by F. L. Griggs here

4) Similarly, my daughter and I spent a happy weekend in Chipping Campden a few years ago. Our focus was the wonderful Margaret Calkin James exhibition. This summer we want to go back to the Court Barn for an exhibition of the well-known etcher and illustrator, F L Griggs’ watercolours and drawings. Dream Cotswold (2 August – 7 October) will “will display a number of rare, privately owned watercolours . Followers of Grigg’s will find much in this exhibition to deepen their understanding of the artist’s visionary work, based firmly in the Arts & Crafts tradition.”

5) I also don’t want to miss the Tate Modern’s exhibition of Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye. From 28 June – 14 October, it will include 60 twentieth century paintings by Munch as well as examples of his work with photography and film. I’m particularly interested in the way it will examine “how Munch often repeated a single motif over a long period of time in order to re-work it, as can be seen in the different versions of his most celebrated works, such as The Sick Child 1885–1927 and Girls on the Bridge 1902–27. ”

The Sick Child 1907 by Edvard Munch

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4 thoughts on “Exhibition time

  1. Love the look of the RA exhibition. Also love an annual trip to The Summer Exhibition, in fact must arrange it with the friends I always go with. Looking forward to the Munch too.

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