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Lectureby Wendy Holborow – ‘Work’ Forward Motion, March 18

Venue: John Peek Conference Room, Birmingham & Midland Institute, 9 Margaret Street, Birmingham – Lecture starts at 11.00 a.m. Reception from 10.30am.

Please note that there is a change of speaker for this event to that previously advertised.

In 1864, Ford Madox Brown declared that ‘the finished canvas embodies no less than the work of my life.’ He was referring to his painting ‘Work’ which took more than eleven years to complete, eventually aided by regular instalments of money from his patron Thomas Plint. This lecture will look at Ford Madox Brown’s painting ‘Work’ through a collection of poems and a short play. The corona of sonnets in the series, won first place in this Society’s 2016 competition. The poems take many poetic forms such as the sonnets, but also a Mesostic and several open field poems. Much of the narrative is a figment of my imagination, backed up with research on the painting and the social commentary of Victorian England. It has been said that the painting had radical implications by placing the working man at the top, rather than at the bottom of society’s hierarchy of value. I am not an artist in pictures, but in words, as I have said in my poem ‘Our Painter’:

Your lithic patience, work of ethics,
limned – yours and mine in tandem.
I shadow your images
with a translation, an explanation.

Wendy Holborow, winner of The Pre-Raphaelite Society 2016 poetry prize, poet, playwright and story writer. She was born in South Wales, UK, but lived in Greece for fourteen years where she founded and co-edited Poetry Greece. She has won prizes for poetry some of which have appeared in Agenda, Envoi, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, and many others internationally. She was awarded a poetry Mentorship with Literature Wales in 2012 and has just completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Swansea University (with distinction). She was selected as an International Merit Award winner by the Atlanta Review in 2015 and 2016. Poetry Salzburg published her collection After the Silent Phone Call (2015) and An Italian Afternoon from Indigo Dreams is forthcoming this year. The book Work’s Forward Motion, (2017) will be available after the lecture.

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

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London visit: Guided tour of ‘Flaming June: The Making of an Icon’, March 25

Venue: Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London, W14 8LZ, at 2 p.m.

Flaming June: The Making of an Icon’ (4 November 2016 – 2 April 2017) is a landmark exhibition for Leighton House Museum, returning Leighton’s most famous and celebrated work to the artist’s house from the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico. Depicting a sensual, sun-drenched, sleeping female figure wrapped in orange draperies against a Mediterranean backdrop, the exhibition explores the extraordinary story of this picture and subsequent rise to international fame as one of the most memorable and reproduced images in the whole of British art.

At Leighton House Museum, Flaming June will be shown beside the other works submitted by Leighton to the Academy that year, all of which were memorably captured and photographed on easels in Leighton’s studio immediately prior to being sent to the Academy in 1895. The re-gathering of these pictures places Flaming June back into the context of its original exhibition, providing a compelling starting-point for exploring its history.

This guided tour is open to all PRS members – friends are welcome. Please note that events/entrance tickets are not issued in advance of the exhibition. Pre-booking is mandatory. The Society reserves the right to allocate places on a first-come, first served basis where demand for places exceeds venue capacity.

Please email nouveaudigital@gmail.com for prices and further details before 6th March 2017 to reserve!

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Lecture by Dr. Lucy Ella Rose – ‘Evelyn De Morgan: The Metamorphic Mermaid’ February 25

Venue: Birmingham & Midland Institute, 9 Margaret Street, Birmingham – Lecture starts at 11.00 a.m. Reception from 10.30am.

‘Second generation’ Pre-Raphaelite Evelyn De Morgan (1855-1919) actively supported female emancipation in petition and paint. This paper investigates how she employed the metamorphic mermaid as a model for socio-political transformation from captivity to liberty. Her series of mermaid paintings ‘The Little Sea Maid’ (1880-88), ‘The Sea Maidens’ (1885-86) and ‘Daughters of the Mist’ (1900-09) was inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s popular tale ‘The Little Mermaid’ (first translated into English in 1872), and she seizes the narrative as a suffragist. Focusing on their series, this paper explores the representation of the female nude; the feminist significance of the sea; the dynamics of the gaze; the subversive symbolism of the mermaid; and the significance of the dawn in early feminist iconography. It shows how Evelyn re-appropriated masculine symbols and classical myths and represented the female body in her art in order to engage with contemporary gender debates and early feminist issues.

Lucy Ella Rose is Teaching Fellow in English at the University is Surrey, where she completed her PhD awarded by the University and Watts Gallery, Surrey in 2015. Her specialist area is women in the nineteenth-century creative partnerships, and she is currently writing her first book: Suffragist Artists in Partnership: Gender, Word and Image. For publication by Edinburgh University Press in 2017.

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

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Lecture by Helen Bratt Wyton – ‘Hidden Wightwick and the Acquisition of its Collection’ Jan 21

Venue: Birmingham & Midland Institute, 9 Margaret Street, Birmingham – Lecture starts at 11.00 a.m. Reception from 10.30am.

Wightwick Manor, home of the Mander family, was designed by Edward Ould in the Old English Style. Now in the care of the National Trust, it is a treasure trove of the Arts and Crafts Movement with Kempe glass, Morris fabrics and wallpaper and a wonderful selection of Pre-Raphaelite art. This illustrated lecture will explore Wightwick Manor’s reserve collection and how it’s stunning art collection came to Wolverhampton.

Helen Bratt-Wyton has been Head Steward at Wightwick Manor for 15 years. Her varied role involves looking after Wightwick Manor’s stunning collections and interpreting these to the public. She also delivers a yearly talk programme on site and to groups and Societies around the region on Morris, the Pre-Raphaelites and Wightwick Manor’s collections. Helen is one of the founder members of the William Morris Network, a group of organisations and Societies involved with the life and work of Morris and his circle.

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

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#PRSBook meeting: Possession by A. S. Byatt, Sunday Jan 15!

The Pre-Raphaelite Society is excited to announce that our London book club is now moving to Twitter. Stephanie Graham Piña, who runs the popular website ‘The Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood’, is teaming up with us to run the book club quarterly on Twitter. Members from around the world will be able to follow #PRSBook on Twitter to join in a conversation about the nominated book.

Our first event will run online Sunday, 15 January, from 9 am to 9pm BST and Central US time, meaning you can join in no matter where you are. We are reading Possession by A. S. Byatt (available on Amazon UK and US).

Questions and discussion will be run by Stephanie (@beguilingmerlin) and Madeleine Pearce (@nouveaudigital), the London and Southern Group coordinator. So follow @PreRaphSoc, use the hashtag #PRSBook on Twitter to join the conversation, and get ready for an inspiring day.

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#PRBday is Sunday 20 November!

We are pleased to announce our popular #PRBday is taking place this year on Sunday 20 November, 9am to 5pm GMT. This is our chance to commemorate the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood online and help spread their legacy. We will be asking you to vote for your favourite Pre-Raphaelite drawings, painting, and sculptures. We are also asking for your favourite Pre-Raphaelite poems!

Share images and links to works that inspire you and talk with other modern Pre-Raphaelites about those rare gems you’ve found. You’ll also have a chance to chat via Twitter with Serena Trowbridge (@serena_t), the current editor of The Review, and Madeleine Pearce (@nouveaudigital), the London and Southern Group coordinator. So follow @PreRaphSoc, use the hashtag #PRBday on Twitter to join the conversation, and get ready for an inspiring day.

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Latest issue of ‘The Review’ out now- Vol. XXIV, No. 2, Summer 2016

The latest edition of ‘The Review’, Vol. XXIV, No. 2, Summer 2016, is now available. Members receive ‘The Review’ for free but copies can also be purchased by non-members. Please email info@Pre‑Raphaelitesociety.org for details.

  1. “An Interview with The Goblin Market” by Lisa Dallape Matson.
  2. “The Pre-Raphaelite Madonna” by Mary Faraci.
  3. “Notes on the Lady – Correspondence between Paul Barlow & Theresia van der Meij” by Theresia van der Meij.
  4. “BMAG Residency” by Sevven Kucuk.
  5. “A beautiful corpse, as it were sleeping:” John William Waterhouses’s Awakening of Adonis and Bion’s ‘Lament for Adonis’” by Jennifer Bates Ehlert.
  6. “’The Golden Stairs’ and ‘William De Morgan’s Blackbird Vase’” – poems by Sarah Doyle.
  7. “Book Review Pre-Raphaelites, Beauty and Rebellion by Christopher Newall” by Mark Jones.
  8. “Exhibition and Catalogue Review Julia Margaret Cameron: Photographs to electrify you with delight and startle the world, edited by Marta Weissby Madeleine Pearce.
  9. “Book Review Ophelia’s Muse by Rita Cameron” by Kirsty Stonell Walker.
  10. “Book Review Poetry in Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelite Art of Marie Spartali Stillman by Margaretta S. Frederick and Jan Marsh” by Nic Peeters.
  11. “Book Review Beauty’s Awakening: Drawings by the Pre-Raphaelites and Their Contemporaries from the Lanigan Collection” by Simon Spier.
  12. “Book Review Visual Under The Cedar: The Lushington’s of Pyports by David Taylorby Margaret English.
  13. “Book Review Wenlock Abbey 1857-1919: A Shropshire Country House and the Milnes Gaskell family by Cynthia Gambleby Stephen G. Maddison.
  14. Meeting Reports.
  15. “’In Wooded Dell’” – a poem by Thomas Knowles
  16. Notes and Queries.

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