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Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Curator's Talk on Modern British Landscapes

Sophie Cummings, Curator at the Museum and Art Gallery, gave a talk last Friday night on the exhibition of Modern British Landscapes she has put together to compliment the 'Turner's Watercolours in the West' exhibition which runs until the 13th December.
Sophie talked about the history of landscape painting via a series of slides of these paintings- starting with Salomon van Ruysdael's 'Landscape with Farm' from 1631, onto Gainsborough's 'Mr and Mrs Andrews', Constable's 'Flatford Mill' and onto Turner's 'Malmesbury Abbey'; the latter being part of the Turner exhibition.
From there, she talked about paintings on the walls including John Piper's 'Pistyll Maes-Glasau 1940, Claude Muncaster's 'Trees on Ellerside Moss' , a watercolour painted outdoors in the Lake District where he was born. It's the painting on the right in the photo below:
Then we looked at the 2 paintings by Gerald Gardiner- 'Towards Wiltshire-Early Autumn' 1944 a  painting glowing with rich light, and 'Christmas Dawning' also painted in 1944, a re-interpretation of the previous scene, the thatcher's ladder lies abandoned and the cold, dim light is in sharp contrast to the mellow glow of early autumn. F.C. Phelps presented both of these paintings which can be seen to good effect on notelets available in the shop. Not such good photos here:
Alfred Wallis' 'Ship Amid Tall Waves' is a fabulous painting:
And on to Philip Wilson Steer's 'Boats in Harbour' painted in 1920 and purchased by T.E.Lowinsky for the Contemporary Art Society and presented by the Society in 1946. Lowinsky lived in Aldbourne and Steer was a friend of his.
Next we looked at Augustus John's 'Classical Scene' and onto Paul Nash's 'Edge of the Wood' painted in 1944, not really seen below, but positioning established:
We finished with Richard Long's 'Roisin Dubh from 1976
and Barbara Howey's 'Pagoda' 2012.
I have also used the 'Guide to the Swindon Collection of Twentieth Century British Art' available in the shop for some of the information.
The next talk is tomorrow evening at 7pm. Magnus Quaife who has 3 pieces in the Swindon Collection will be in conversation with Sophie Cummings.

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