William Morris Society and Emery Walker Trust: Arts and Crafts Hammersmith project

An exciting partnership between two organisations dedicated to celebrating and sharing the stories of two Arts and Crafts pioneers and their Hammersmith homes has been awarded £631,100 by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The William Morris Society and the Emery Walker Trust, who work to promote the lives, influences and collections of Morris and Walker from their former West London homes, can now launch their Arts and Crafts Hammersmith initiative in the new year.

This imaginative venture will open up access to the rich collections of both partners and the wider histories – personal, social, political – of the Arts and Crafts movement, rooted in Hammersmith. The project comprises vital programmes of repairs, refurbishments and improvements to Walker’s Thames-side house at 7 Hammersmith Terrace (the last surviving example in Britain of an authentic Arts and Crafts interior) and Morris’s home at Kelmscott House, ¼ mile away. It gives both organisations the means fully to preserve and conserve the rich heritage in their care, and make it available for public enjoyment, study and learning, through traditional and digital forms.

The project also creates new opportunities for people to get involved through volunteering and skills development, and will establish a more sustainable and resilient future for both organisations. Sue Bowers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, says: “Given the proximity of these two riverside homes – shrines to the Arts and Crafts movement – we are delighted to support this joint project that will underline the close working relationship between its two leading exponents and provide valuable new insights into their artistic collaboration.” Martin Stott, chair of the William Morris Society, says, “’This is wonderful news and a great way to launch the Society’s 2015 Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It will help bring the work and ideas of William Morris to a much wider audience and will complement the Society’s own work. We are very grateful to the HLF for their vote of confidence at this important time.” Michael Hall, chair of the Emery Walker Trust (EWT), says, “This project is a major advance for both organisations and will do so much for 7 Hammersmith Terrace. It also cements an extraordinarily fruitful partnership with WMS, and will allow us to achieve much more than we could alone – giving us both resilience to face the future, and providing a secure foundation for sustainable activity and growth for years to come”.

The project begins with capital and conservation works at both houses from the end of 2015. The public will be able to enjoy new and improved facilities and activities from 2017. Helen Elletson, curator for WMS and EWT, will lead an enlarged staff team to deliver all aspects of the project over its three years. Attentions are now on securing the final funds to complete the project in 2018.

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Lecture: ‘Edward Burne-Jones and the Windows of St. Philip’s Cathedral’ by Martin Ellis, 25 April

A lecture by Martin Ellis entitled ‘Edward Burne-Jones and the Windows of St. Philip’s Cathedral’ will take place on the 25th of April at 11am at the Birmingham & Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham. This lecture will consider Edward Burne-Jones’s career as a stained glass artist, and place the four windows of St. Philip’s Cathedral in the wider context of his oeuvre.

Martin Ellis is a curator, lecturer and broadcaster. Martin has wide-ranging expertise in the field of art and design. He has managed, developed, exhibited and promoted major collections of decorative and fine arts at Art Galleries and Museums in Birmingham and Blackburn. He now divides his time between curatorial work, the development of cultural tourism programmes, lecturing and broadcasting. Martin is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an accredited lecturer for NADFAS and a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company and of the City of London.

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

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UPDATE: A Victorian Obsession. The Pérez Simón Collection at Leighton House, extended until 6 April

The latest exhibition at Leighton House. A Victorian Obsession. The Pérez Simón collection presents over fifty two exceptional and rarely exhibited paintings by leading Victorian artists. The pictures all belong to the Mexican collector Juan Antonio Pérez Simón and form the largest private collection of Victorian art outside the UK.

Six important pictures by Leighton himself have returned to the house in which they were first painted. Also on display are outstanding pictures by Albert Moore, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, John Everett Millais, John William Waterhouse, Edward Poynter, John Strudwick and John William Godward. These artists knew Leighton and were entertained at his house.

A Victorian Obsession is an unmissable event and a one-off aesthetic experience for anyone interested in the art of the nineteenth century. A review of the exhibition will appear in the next issue of the Society’s Review.

For media enquiries relating to the event mentioned above please email ana.garcia@rbkc.gov.uk. Leighton House Museum is delighted to announce that, due to popular demand, A Victorian Obsession. The Pérez Simón collection has been extended until Monday 6th April.

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Theatre: ‘The Muse’ at Leighton House, 13-28 March

The newest multimedia play by Palimpsest will be held at Leighton House. Based on recent research, the play brings to light new revelations about the fascinating relationship between the Victorian artist Leighton and his muse, actress Dorothy Dene. The eight-night only production is the culmination of an extensive programme of events accompanying the current exhibition at Leighton House, ‘A Victorian Obsession. The Pérez Simón Collection’ which showcases masterpieces from the largest private collection of Victorian art outside the UK, including images of Dorothy Dene herself.

Following the sell-out success of the production Hedda in April 2014, Leighton House is delighted to be working again with Palimpsest to present an extended run of a new multi-media play that fuses theatre, film and online elements. The play begins with a drinks soirée and then the scene moves through the glorious salons of Leighton’s palace of art to culminate in the artist’s studio, where Dorothy often posed nude for Leighton.

The play begins at 7.45pm; doors open at 7.15pm for drinks soirée and tickets are £25. Not suitable for under 14-year-olds. Bookings via EventBrite.

For media enquiries relating to the event mentioned above please email ana.garcia@rbkc.gov.uk.

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SPAB Celebrates the Centenary of Architect Philip Webb in 2015

Throughout 2015, Britain’s longest established heritage body, SPAB (The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) will mark the centenary of the death of its co-founder Philip Webb with a series of events, activities and the re-launch of a major award open to architectural students.

Philip Speakman Webb is often referred to as the Father of Arts and Crafts Architecture. He was the co-founder of SPAB with William Morris and in 2015 the Society will join forces with other organisations and individuals to increase awareness of his important legacy. Webb and Morris were key figures in the Pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Crafts movements of the late 19th century.

The events programme includes great events for members:

Who was Philip Webb?
Exploring Webb’s life and work and why he remains so important to the SPAB
Peter Burman (SPAB Guardian)
Thursday 5 March 2015

Philip Webb and Red House
Designing William Morris’s beautifullest place on earth
Tessa Wild (National Trust)
Thursday 12 March 2015

Webb in his own words
Thoughts on editing Philip Webb’s letters
John Aplin (Editor of Webb’s collected letters)
Thursday 19 March 2015

Philip Webb and the Wandering Architects
Webb’s influence on generations of conservation architects
Michael Drury (architect and author)
Wednesday 25 March 2015

Members can book tickets to one or all of these talks by downloading their booking form and returning it to the Education Team, The SPAB, 37 Spital Square, London, E1 6DY or email to education@spab.org.uk. Become a member or follow SPAB on Twitter @SPAB1877 and on Facebook.

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Exhibition: ‘Art and Soul: Victorians and the Gothic’ until April 12

Royal Albert Memorial Museum Exeter is holding an exhibition Art and Soul: Victorians and the Gothic until April 12. It presents an opportunity to see paintings, tapestries, furniture, stained glass, and metal work by some of the greatest nineteenth century artists and designers. The exhibition features William Morris and Augustus Pugin together with other artists associated with the Arts and Crafts movement.Art and Soul: Victorians and the Gothic

On show are wonderful things such as the Burne-Jones tapestry of the Knights of the Round Table from Birmingham, the Pomona tapestry from the V&A and a Ford Madox Brown stained glass window. On a more local level, there are works by the Exeter craftsman Harry Hems and a huge sideboard by W R Lethaby, who came from nearby Barnstaple.

For more information contact: ramm@exeter.gov.uk. Or for more information on Arts and Crafts in the West Country contact: peterrwise@yahoo.com.

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March Lecture: ‘Anatomiless And Rigid’: Pre-Raphaelitism, Drawing And The Decorative Arts by Dr. Jim Cheshire

A lecture by Dr. Jim Cheshire entitled ‘Anatomiless And Rigid: Pre-Raphaelitism, Drawing And The Decorative Arts’ will take place on the 21st of March at 11am at the Birmingham & Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham. Reception from 10.30 a.m. in the John Peek Conference Room.

John Ruskin’s awkward neologism from his seminal chapter ‘The Nature of Gothic’ invokes one of the central dilemmas of the Victorian Gothic revival. He describes the figures of ‘the old cathedral front’ as ‘anatomiless’ (lacking correct anatomy) and in doing so engages with a current debate about the nature of medieval figure work and its relationship to contemporary art. In England the widespread and deeply felt enthusiasm for medieval art was tempered by a conviction that medieval drawing was crude grotesque or just wrong. This left artist’s with a problem: how could their drawing be Gothic in spirit and yet avoid the perceived errors of medieval art? Pre-Raphaelite drawing provided one response to this problem, as did various types of figure work in stained glass, furniture and textiles. This lecture will examine the problem of Gothic figure work in Victorian Britain and how Pre-Raphaelite artists explored this through fine and decorative art.

Dr. Jim Cheshire is Reader in Cultural History at the University of Lincoln. His researchcentres on Victorian attitudes to the medieval period in literary and visual culture. He is currently working on a monograph about Tennyson’s relationship with his publishers in the mid Victorian period and has previously published books and articles on stained glass, 19th century interior design and book illustration.

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

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