January Lecture: ‘Dorothy Dene: Posing for Leighton’ by Philippa Martin

A lecture by Philippa Martin entitled ‘Dorothy Dene: Posing for Leighton’ will take place on the 24th of January at 11am at the Birmingham & Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham. Reception from 10.30 a.m. in the John Peek Conference Room.

For the last 15 years of his career, artist Frederic Leighton enjoyed a close relationship with the actress and artist model Dorothy Dene. Posing for many of Leighton’s most significant works of this period. Dene enjoyed considerable celebrity and achieved successes in her acting career. She was present shortly before Leighton died and received a substantial legacy from him. This talk will focus on the life of Dorothy Dene and her relationship with Leighton, drawing on new, unpublished research.

Philippa Martin is Curator, Information and Research (Historical) at the Government Art Collection. She was Project Manager of the Leighton Drawings Project at Leighton House Museum between 2005 and 2007. She first joined the staff at Leighton House and 18 Stafford Terrace as Acting Curator of Collections and Research in 2003. For the first six years of her career she was Curatorial and Exhibitions Assistant at the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

For further details relating to the event mentioned above please email info@Pre‑Raphaelitesociety.org.

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The PRS Essay Competition: Deadline 31st December

These competitions are open to members and non-members alike.

The John Pickard Essay Prize 2014

You are invited to enter a monograph of not more than 2000 words for The John Pickard Essay Prize. The monograph may be on any individual related to the Pre-Raphaelite circle.

The winner will receive £100 prize and publication in the Spring 2015 Review and subsequently the essays of runners-up may also be published. The final decision will be made by the Committee of the Pre-Raphaelite Society.

Entries are to be received by the Editor by 31st December 2014, and may be emailed to serena.trowbridge@bcu.ac.uk.

The Pre-Raphaelite Society Poetry Prize 2014

Rules for Entry

1st Prize:  £50

The three winning poems will be published in the Pre-Raphaelite Society’s Review, along with two Commended poems.


Entry is open to all writers of any nationality, aged 18 years and over.

The competition will be judged by the Editor of the Society’s Review, Serena Trowbridge; and by the Society’s Poet-in-Residence, Sarah Doyle.  All entries will be seen by both judges.

Poems may be in any style, but must be written in English.

Poems must in some way reflect an aspect (or aspects) of the lives or works of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood or their broader circle.

Every poem should be accompanied by a brief (maximum 100 words) explanation of how the poem relates to the Pre-Raphaelites.

Poems must be typed/printed on A4 paper; hand-written entries are not permitted.

The maximum length for each poem is 100 lines.

The closing date for the competition is 30th November 2014.

A maximum of three poems per entrant may be submitted.

Entry is £2 per poem, or £5 for the maximum of three poems


Poems must be the entrant’s own work.

Poems may not have been previously published – in print, electronically or online; nor broadcast via any means (including podcasting); nor exhibited in a public place.

Poems should not be submitted for consideration elsewhere during the competition and during the subsequent period of adjudication.

Winning poems should not be submitted for publication elsewhere prior to appearing in the Review.

Poems may not have won a prize in previous competitions.

Poems may not be withdrawn or altered once submitted into the competition.

How to Enter

No identifying marks should appear on the poem/s or on accompanying explanation/s.

On a SEPARATE sheet of paper, please include your name, address, telephone number, email address and the name/s of your poems.

Cheques should be made payable to ‘The Pre-Raphaelite Society’.

Please send TWO COPIES of your poem/s and explanation/s, along with the entrance fee, and one copy of your personal details to:

The Competition Secretary, 21 Shaw Lane, Stoke Prior, Worcestershire B60 4DP

The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence can be entered into.

Entry into the competition implies an understanding and acceptance of the Rules of Entry.


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New Regional Groups: South West of England and North of England

Following the success of the first meeting of the London & Southern Group, and with further meetings being planned, the Pre‑Raphaelite Society is pleased to announce the formation of another new regional group, to accommodate members in the South West of England. The group will be co-ordinated by Peter Wise, a current member of the Pre‑Raphaelite Society and author of several Pre‑Raphaelite trail books.

We also have had members express an interest in joining a Northern group but we need someone willing to organise the events, activities etc. Assistance from the Secretary will be available.

The groups will be a chance for current Society members to gather in a relaxed and casual atmosphere to socialise and enjoy activities such as pub meets, a book club, local visits and activities and will be open to all PRS members and their friends.

If you are interested, please contact Sharon Peedell-Pandya, PRS Secretary, (shaznsanj@yahoo.com) or Peter Wise, (peterrwise@yahoo.com) for more details.


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Latest issue of ‘The Review’ out now- Vol. XXII, No. 2, Summer 2014

The latest edition of ‘The Review’, Vol. XXII, No. 2, Summer 2014, is now available. This issue is one of our biggest yet, showcasing poetry, book reviews and even recent research. Members receive ‘The Review’ for free but copies can also be purchased by non-members. Please email info@Pre‑Raphaelitesociety.org for details.

1. “Fanny Eaton: The ‘Other’ Pre-Raphaelite Model” by Roberto C. Ferrari.
2. “In Defence of Walter Deverell” by Verity Holloway.
3. “Ford Madox Brown’s The Bromley Family: A New Interpretation” by Brian D’Olier.
4. “Christina Rossetti: Anti-Pre-Raphaelite” by Daniel Hinds.
5. “The Languages of Dante Gabriel Rossetti” by Raphael Rigal.
6. “The Divided Heart”, a poem by Sarah Doyle.
7. Announcements for The John Pickard Essay Prize 2014 & The Pre-Raphaelite Society Poetry Prize 2014.
8. “Book Review The Girl in Green by Gillian Drake” by Katja Robinson.
9. “Book Review The Pre-Raphaelite Language of Flowers by Debra N. Mancoff” by Simon Cooke.
10. “Book Review Persistent Ruskin: Studies in Influence, Assimilation and Effected ed by Keith Hanley and Brian Maidment” by Margaret English.
11. “Book Review John Brett: Pre-Raphaelite Landscape Painter by Christiana Payne” by Aileen Naylor.
12. “Book Review John Ruskin: Artist and Observer” by Simon Cooke.
13. “Book Review Pre-Raphaelite Treasures at National Museums Liverpool by Laura MacCulloch” by Amelia Yeates.
14. “Book Review The Arts and Crafts Movement in Scotland: A History by Annette Carruthers” by Katja Robinson.
15. “Book Review Christina Rossetti’s Gothic by Serena Trowbridge” by Gregory Tate.
16. “Dreamfall”, a poem by Sarah Doyle.
17. Meeting Reports.
18. Notes and Queries.


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Lecture: ‘Painters’ Palaces: Frederic Leighton and the Holland Park Circle’ by Daniel Robbins

A lecture by Daniel Robbins entitled ‘Painters’ Palaces: Frederic Leighton and the Holland Park Circle’ will take place on the 22nd of November at 11am in the Birmingham & Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham.

Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830‑1896) was the doyen of Victorian academic painters, President of the Royal Academy and the only British artist to date to have been raised to the peerage. From 1864 he collaborated with the architect George Atchison to create one of the most remarkable artists’ studio-houses anywhere at 2 Holland Park Road, Kensington. Daniel Robbins tells the story of the house, and the magnificent recently completed refurbishment.

Daniel Robbins is Senior Curator of Museums with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, responsible for Leighton House Museum and 18 Stafford Terrace. He has organised many exhibitions and contributed to numerous catalogues and publications around nineteenth‑century art, architecture and design, including authorship of the companion guidebook to Leighton House published in 2011. He was responsible for leading the project to refurbish and restore the museum completed between 2008 and 2010.

For further details relating to the event mentioned above please email info@Pre‑Raphaelitesociety.org.

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A Place for Art: The Story of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists

Exhibition at the RBSA: A Place for Art: The Story of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists

8 October — 15 November 2014

This landmark exhibition will explore the history and development of the RBSA from the exhibition staged by the Academy of Arts in 1814. Rarely-seen works from the RBSA Archive will be displayed alongside loans from private and public collections by artists such as David Cox, Joseph Southall, Walter Langley, Mary Gibson, Kate Eadie and Teresa Clarke, the Society’s first female Member.

The exhibition is on now until 15 November. A compact section considers Pre-Raphaelitism & the RBSA with a photogravure of a  Burne-Jones and paintings by Southall, Gaskin, Kate Bunce, Kate Eadie and Maxwell Armfield. There is also Pre-Raphaelite influence in a sword hilt by Robert Emerson and painting of an angel by Mary Gibson – both on display. Exhibits are from the RBSA’s Collection together with loans from Birmingham Museums Trust & the Assay Office, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Leamington and private lenders. There are many other stunning works of art on display. The exhibition is accompanied by an informative beautifully-illustrated catalogue.

It will take place at the RBSA Gallery, 4 Brook Street, Near St Paul’s Square, Birmingham. The exhibition is curated by Brendan Flynn and has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. For more information please visit the ‘What’s on’ section of the RBSA website: www.rbsa.org.uk.

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Pre-Raphaelite Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

Fortune’s Wheel: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. From the NGV Collection. 2 April – 12 July 2015, NGV International. FREE ENTRY

In 1848 seven young artists working in London formed The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. They rejected prevailing artistic conventions of nineteenth-century Britain and turned the art world upside down. They quickly attained a reputation for being radical and rebellious, yet their style and powerful imagery eventually gained credence. Their acute aesthetic changed artistic taste in Britain forever.

The NGV’s holdings of works by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood are world renowned. They are richly varied and include paintings, prints, decorative arts, furniture, stained-glass windows and lavish book designs. The collection reflects the role of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain, artists’ place in the development of the illustrated book and their profound influence on later generations of artists.

The NGV has been consistently acquiring Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood works since the 1880s and the NGV’s collection has recently been significantly augmented with a number of key works, including the portrait of the Baroness Deslandes by Edward Burne-Jones as well as preliminary drawings for this painting, a stained-glass window designed by Burne-Jones and a posthumous portrait of an Australian boy by John Everett Millais.

Fortune’s Wheel: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood will not only focus on the collecting of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood by the NGV, but also include key works held by private collectors and in public institutions in Melbourne. Comprising around 100 works, this will be the first comprehensive exhibition of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood held in Melbourne for more than forty years.

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