Category Archives: Exhibitions

Wonderful Watercolours Sneak Peek 7

Kenilworth Castle with cattle by Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding

Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding (1787 to 1855)
Kenilworth Castle with cattle
pre 1855

Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding was a popular and successful painter, particularly in watercolour. He exhibited over 600 works during his life. From the early 1800s Fielding made several tours around Britain painting landscapes.

This watercolour and many others will be on display in Wonderful Watercolours: Views of Coventry and Warwickshire. The exhibition runs from 25 February to 22 July 2012 at the Herbert. Entry is free.

Wonderful Watercolours Sneak Peek 6

William Brooke, Ancient Passage Leading to the Hall, 1819

William Brooke (1772 to 1860)
Ancient Passage leading to the Hall
1819

St Mary’s Guildhall was begun in 1340 by the merchant guild of St Mary. The building was soon also used by the mayor and governing body of the city, which was closely linked to the guild. It continued to be the city’s centre of administration until construction of the Council House was completed 1917. It hosted many royal visits and a royal prisoner – Mary Queen of Scots. More interesting historical facts about the Guildhall can be found on Coventry City Council’s website.

This watercolour and many others will be on display in Wonderful Watercolours: Views of Coventry and Warwickshire. The exhibition runs from 25 February to 22 July 2012 at the Herbert. Entry is free.

Wonderful Watercolours Sneak Peek 5

Bablake School by Edith Gittins

Edith Gittins (1845 to 1910)
Bablake School
1868 – 1887

Edith Gittins was a social reformer who campaigned for women’s rights. She founded the Leicester Women’s Liberal Association and was an active member of the Women’s Suffrage movement.

This watercolour and many others will be on display in Wonderful Watercolours: Views of Coventry and Warwickshire. The exhibition runs from 25 February to 22 July 2012 at the Herbert. Entry is free.

Wonderful Watercolours Sneak Peek 4

Jordan Well, Coventry by Sydney Bunney, 1916

Sydney Bunney (1877 to 1928)
Jordan Well, Coventry
June 8 1916

Sydney Bunney is best known for his accurate views of Coventry streets and buildings, painted between the 1890s and his death. The Herbert has over five hundred of his pencil and watercolour drawings of Coventry.

This watercolour and many others will be on display in Wonderful Watercolours: Views of Coventry and Warwickshire. The exhibition runs from 25 February to 22 July 2012 at the Herbert. Entry is free.

Wonderful Watercolours Sneak Peek 3

 

Bayley Lane and 'The Cottage', Coventry by Herbert Cox, 1918

What do you think these men are talking about?

Herbert Cox (1869 to 1941)
Bayley Lane and ‘The Cottage’, Coventry
1918

Bayley Lane is one of the oldest streets in Coventry. The name was in use in the 1200s and probably comes from the bailey or outer defences of the castle which stood in this area in the 1100s and 1200s.

This watercolour and many others will be on display in Wonderful Watercolours: Views of Coventry and Warwickshire. The exhibition runs from 25 February to 22 July 2012 at the Herbert. Entry is free.

Wonderful Watercolours Sneak Peek 2

Old Clopton Bridge, Stratford Upon Avon by William Quatremain

William Wells Quatremain (about 1858 to 1930)
Old Clopton Bridge, Stratford upon Avon
1919

Old Clopton Bridge, which has fourteen arches, was built about 1490. It still carries the main road over the River Avon.

William Quatremain also painted some views of Stratford for a popular booklet entitled ‘Shakespeare’s Stratford-on-Avon’ by J. Salmon, Art Printer, Sevenoaks. Quatremain had a bicycle adapted to carry his paint box, easel and stool.

This watercolour and many others will be on display in Wonderful Watercolours: Views of Coventry and Warwickshire. The exhibition runs from 25 February to 22 July 2012 at the Herbert. Entry is free.

Wonderful Watercolours Sneak Peek 1

Paul Sandby, Entrance to Warwick Castle, about 1775

Paul Sandby (1725 to 1809)
The Entrance of Warwick Castle from the Lower Court, No. 2
about 1775

This aquatint was made by Paul Sandby, the first artist in England to use aquatint printmaking. In fact, Sandby created the name aquatint after refining an earlier etching technique. Using the aquatint process allows artists to etch a range of tones and create tonal effects similar to watercolours.

This work and many others will be on display in Wonderful Watercolours: Views of Coventry and Warwickshire. The exhibition runs from 25 February to 22 July 2012 at the Herbert. Entry is free.

Wiki, water & watercolours

More routine, more roof repairs, more photography – more of everything, really, but some new themes as well, just to liven things up. On 1st October, two of us had groups round the conservation studio as part of the Wikimedia Back Stage Pass event. We felt this was very successful both for The Herbert as a whole, and for ourselves with the level of interest for conservation (not that it’s a competition…..). It was an enjoyable day, with an added bonus of finding the hairdryer and anti-static brush we though lost, whilst tidying. There’s still more to be done on that score, but sadly I don’t see where the (still missing) beam balance could possibly be hiding – that one must really be on loan, not just pretending like the hair-drier… In case you’re wondering, the hairdryer is for hot air, and the brush is for stopping dust getting over-attracted to nice clean flat plastic surfaces you’re about to shut away. You never know what you may have to do down here!

Talking of lost items, I raided the long-lost-property bag for a couple of emergency response training sessions. Add random items from home, out of date marketing leaflets and some apparently potential hazards, place in a large trough with water, and watch your colleagues retrieve them. Very interesting personality test – including on myself; by the third session I’d accustomed myself to deliberately tipping water over most things, but didn’t progress as far as dunking the much washed cute, cuddly leopard cub that some poor parent is bearing the brunt of loosing. I’ve never had to retrieve objects for real or run a practical training session before so we were all learning together, and now I’ve a pile more stuff to do to improve our emergency preparedness, and a leopard that keeps mysteriously moving around the studio…

Drying out after emergency response plan training

The next major project is to prepare for a large watercolour exhibition in Feb. This has rather crept up on me under cover from a number of unexpected happenings why have had to take priority, but really does have to be started – immediately after I’ve sent this. Work will involve cutting mounts, hinging watercolours, possibly dry cleaning and such like. My training is in archives conservation, so I’m not really used to playing about with pigments, but many of the techniques are similar, or require the same skills applied slightly differently. Even so, I was rather relieved that we managed to raise funds to have work on the William Brooke album done by a private Works on Paper conservator. 10 items were removed and cleaned by her, and I mounted a selection of these for an event a couple of weeks ago, re-acquainting myself with the mount cutter – I still need to learn its angle of minimum effort, but at least I know what I’m aiming at now! Many of the items are listed as only requiring a check over, but who knows what this will find – the first 2 taken at random have horridly acidic backboards which should really be removed, but I’d best see what the total of these is rather than diving in on those two and then finding there’s no time for ones which are discolouring the image. The idea is to use a poultice to hold moisture against the board, then strip it off in layers; usually the adhesives will be water softenable on older items. It’s a while since I’ve done anything of that nature, so I think a practice session is in order – there’s a nasty, mouldering apprentice indenture that’s been a skeleton in the drawer for years which should be just the job. Lovely!

‘From Highfield Road to Wembley Way’: Public Appeal

In April 2012, a new exhibition opens at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. ‘From Highfield Road to Wembley Way’ will celebrate Coventry City Football Club’s success in the 1987 FA Cup final. The unexpected win – the first in the Club’s 104 year history – brought together the whole city, who lined the streets to welcome the team back to Coventry. Whether you were a child, a teenager, or an adult; a staunch supporter or perhaps not even a football fan at all until that point; everyone remembers the day that Coventry City Football Club brought the Cup home.

Part of the exhibition will be dedicated to CCFC fans, and we are keen to gather their memories, stories, photos and memorabilia. A public appeal was launched in the Coventry Evening Telegraph and online from September 2011, and we have received a positive response so far!

Some of the memorabilia which has been offered for display include tickets and signed programmes from the final; a commemorative medal which was awarded to Coventry and District referees; a menu card from the celebration dinner held at the Club; and commemorative bottles of beer and wine. Home-made items include t-shirts, a scrapbook, and a banner made by Kay Preece (then Bridgland) which was displayed in the window of the Coventry Evening Telegraph. It is astonishing that fans have held onto these for 25 years!

Walsgrave Road house display

We are also building up an archive of home photographs. So far, these have mostly been of the Victory Parade through Coventry’s streets – which show houses decorated with flags, bunting, balloons and CCFC scarves. Sheila Basbrown sent us images like this of Walsgrave Road, as well as some of her and her colleagues dressed for work in ‘sky blue’ for the week running up to the final! Maurice Rattigan’s photos of his trip to Wembley clearly show the anticipation and excitement of the crowd, and the euphoria that followed. These photos are being uploaded to our Flickr site (http://www.flickr.com/groups/theherbert) and we are encouraging anyone else who has memorable photographs of the run up to the final, the final itself, or the Victory Parade, to do the same!

Crowds outside the Council House

It has been great to hear people’s memories, which really show what a momentous occasion the win was for the people of Coventry. Two fans have even sent us poems! Some of these memories will be featured in a short film in the exhibition. If you would like to share your story, please email us at skybluestories@theherbert.org. We would love to hear from you!

This post was written by Elizabeth Pratt, who is volunteering on this project.

Patchwork Weather – a poem by Fraser

 

 (Click on the images to see Fraser’s handwritten original)

Patchwork Weather

It’s a strange mixture
It’s all stitched together
Patchwork like spectrums
Of opposite weather

It’s rainy one moment
It’s sunny the next
(Hexagonal sunbursts
on a lonely, dark bed)

It’s foggy, it’s breezy
Its wadding is dull
Then, hemmed at the edges,
Bright blocks of the quilt!

This rushes over
The yellowing sky
Spikes of new daybreak
As the new layers tied

Then, it changes.

It goes crazy
It goes like crazy patchwork
It’s like this….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(not Amish…)

It’s sleety, it’s hailing
It’s blizzards, it’s bad
A cyclone of colour
The deadliest patch

It’s sunny one moment
It’s rainy the next
(The cyclone drifts over
a lonely, lost thread)

Yes, it’s a mixture
All forming together
Patchwork constellations
Of opposite weather

With no real pattern
Of wet and dry
I think I’d rather
Stay inside.

-Fraser

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