‘Stanhope Country’ study-day

‘Stanhope Country’ study-day at Cannon Hall (10am-4pm, Saturday 21 April) and tour (Sunday 22 April, 2012).

Hoylandswaine Arts Group www.hoylandswainearts.co.uk is working in partnership with the Parish Church of Hoylandswaine to uncover a mural painted (circa 1870) by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope on the east wall of the church. The painting complements the stunning Morris & Co east window designed by Stanhope’s friend Edward Burne-Jones. Major grants are being sought to fund restoration of the mural, which was white-washed over in 1961. A study-day and tour have been organized to raise awareness of Stanhope’s work for churches in the area and to promote the restoration campaign.

Study-day timetable

10.00               Welcome from Chair of the Friends of Cannon Hall, Terry Sykes

10.15               Simon Poë on J.R. Spencer Stanhope

11.00               coffee

11.30               Janet Douglas on W.H. Crossland

12.15               Michael Hall on G.F. Bodley

13.00               lunch

14.00               Sally-Anne Huxtable on Edward Burne-Jones

14.45               Suzanne Fagence Cooper on Pre-Raphaelite stained glass

15.30               Q&A roundtable

Places for the study-day are free (financed by East Peak Innovation Partnership via Hoylandswaine Arts Group). Lunch is not included but there is a café. Booking is essential. Contact Janet Douglas janetdouglas21@hotmail.co.uk or telephone 0113 2259214. Cannon Hall Museum, Park & Gardens is located just off the A635 (follow the brown signs from junction 37 on the M1) at Bark House Lane, Cawthorne, South Yorkshire S75 4AT. For those coming by public transport it may be possible to arrange collection at Wakefield Westgate station if there are enough takers: mention this when booking.

Tour itinerary

We will be visiting Hill House, Cawthorne, where Stanhope lived and worked during the 1870s; the Victoria Jubilee Museum, Cawthorne, an extraordinary unspoiled Victorian village museum that contains much Stanhope memorabilia; All Saints, Cawthorne, restored by Bodley and Garner to commemorate Stanhope’s parents; St James the Great, Flockton; St John the Evangelist, Denby; and St John the Evangelist, Hoylandswaine, the site of the mural under restoration. The churches at Flockton and Hoylandswaine were both designed by W.H. Crossland. Those at Cawthorne, Flockton and Hoylandswaine all contain pulpits decorated with panels painted by Stanhope.

The tour is jointly organised by Hoylandswaine Arts Group and the West Yorkshire Group of The Victorian Society. Places cost £18, which includes transport from the centre of Leeds, admission to the museum and contributions to all the churches. Lunch is not included but there are places to eat in Cawthorne. Booking is essential. Contact Janet Douglas as above.

Speakers for the study-day

Simon Poë has been researching the life and work of John Roddam Spencer Stanhope (1829-1908) for some years, and has written the entry on the painter in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He is contributing a chapter ‘The Triumph of Genre’ to the collection Inside the Royal Academy (forthcoming from Yale University Press). He is Associate Editor of The British Art Journal, and writes regularly for Apollo and Country Life. In his talk ‘Stanhope Country’ he will focus on the artist’s work in churches near his birthplace at Cannon Hall.

Janet Douglas was formerly Principal Lecturer in Politics at Leeds Metropolitan University.  Her research interests are now largely concerned with the history of Leeds which has led to a number of published articles and book chapters, most recently in Christopher Webster (ed) Building A Great Victorian City: Leeds Architects and Architecture 1790-1914 (Northern Heritage Publications, 2011), and, forthcoming, ‘A Most Cherished Friendship: Julia Griffiths Crofts and Frederick Douglass’ in the journal Slavery and Abolition. In her talk on the architect William Henry Crossland (1835-1908) Janet will assert that his work deserves to be better known. As well as for the design of two of the churches (at Flockton and Hoylandswaine) that we will be visiting on Sunday’s tour, he was responsible for three ‘knock-out’ buildings: Rochdale Town Hall (1865-1871), the Holloway Sanatorium at Virginia Water (1873-85), and Holloway College (1879-87), which is now part of London University.

Michael Hall has published several books on 19th-century architecture and design, most recently The Victorian Country House from the Archives of Country Life (2009). He has just completed a book on the great architect George Frederick Bodley (1827-1907). Bodley, like Crossland, trained in the office of Sir George Gilbert Scott. He was a life-long close friend of Stanhope’s, and in his talk ‘G.F. Bodley’s collaborations with J.R. Spencer Stanhope’, Michael will detail their equally close professional association.

Sally-Anne Huxtable is a Lecturer in Art and Design History at Northumbria University. From 2008-2010 she was Research Associate for the 2010/11 exhibition and catalogue Gustav Stickley and the American Arts and Crafts at Dallas Museum of Art, and has also undertaken work for other museums including Tate Britain, The Courtauld Institute of Art, The Museo Nacional del Prado, The Museo de Arte de Ponce and the De Morgan Centre. Numerous publications include items as various as the forthcoming Catalogue of the British Collection at Museo de Arte, Ponce, (Seattle: Marquand Books, September 2012), and the essay ‘“Love the Machine, Hate the Factory”: Steampunk Design and the Vision of a Victorian Future’ in Steaming Towards a Victorian Future: An Anthology (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Books, 2012). Sally is currently working on a monograph on Aestheticism and interiority, Inward Worlds: Aestheticism and Its Interiors, 1848 to 1900. Her talk, ‘The Romance of the Rose: Chivalry, Symbolism and Edward Burne-Jones’s Quest for Perfect Love’, will examine the recurring use of the rose as a motif in the artist’s work. It will explore the theme of the heroic journey in search of a rose both in terms of his personal artistic and emotional quest for perfect love and beauty, and in the context of the attempt by Pre-Raphaelite and Aesthetic artists to reconcile the material world with that of the spiritual.

Suzanne Fagence Cooper is the author of The Model Wife: Effie Gray, Ruskin and Millais and Pre-Raphaelite Art in the Victoria & Albert Museum.  For 12 years she was a curator and research Fellow at the V&A.  Now a freelance writer, she lectures for the National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies (NADFAS) and on Cunard voyages. All the leading lights of the Pre-Raphaelite movement turned their hand to designing stained glass.  In her talk, ‘Heavenly Bodies: the Pre-Raphaelites in Stained Glass’, Suzanne will reveal some unexpected Victorian masterpieces art tucked away in Yorkshire’s churches, and put them into the wider context of the Pre-Raphaelite revolution in art.


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