Luigi Pericle Giovannetti, the forgotten talented mystical painter
Ascona’s return to the world of a lost artist
It’s a late summer afternoon when a phone call comes in the form that has the flavor of a signaling. Go to Ascona, a collection of art has disappeared for decades, a corpus of works by Luigi Pericle Giovannetti, a real treasure that reappears just now. Initially, there is some skepticism: is it really a treasure? And how does the author’s name, Luigi Pericle Giovannetti, tell me absolutely nothing? The appointment at Ascona, on the slopes of Monte Verità, is with Andrea and Greta Biasca-Caroni, they are the owners of the paintings, and begin to tell a story that has incredible and I will try to tell here. Last year, the couple bought a two-storey cottage, where no-one has been stuck for fifteen years. There was a painter who left off in 2001 without leaving heirs, and the house remained as he left it. After the first inspections, the couple realize that they have something in their hands: in the abandoned rooms, among the dusty furnishings, on the shelves of the bookstores, the world of a forgotten artist, paintings, letters and photographs of Luigi Pericle Giovannetti begins to emerge, a painter who for many different reasons today says very little, but who deserves great attention to the intensity of his life and work.
The first inventory speaks of 150 oils and thousands of cardboard, all in good condition. The Biasca-Caroni are curious people and start doing the first research. In the village there are those who have a distant memory of Giovannetti, who led a secluded life, occasionally styled astral profiles and wrote science fiction novels. Among his students, a young Ingeborg Lüscher, Harald Szeemann’s future wife, tells how Giovannetti, who emanated an aura of knowledge, was kind, friendly but always a little distant. This testimony, published on the ticinarte.ch site, only helps us partially to outline the figure of a painter who is difficult to frame in today’s canons, so highly rated to individual specializations. Who was really Giovannetti ? An artist? A philosopher? A mystic? Or all these things together? Andrea and Greta Biasca-Caroni show me the results of their research, and it’s like a big puzzle that is made up under our eyes. Of the family’s origins and the childhood of the artist is still very little, a biographical biographical profile, published on a catalog of the sixties, says it born in the Marche and raised in Basel; he studied art but soon abandoned because he disobeyed school discipline. He has a good hand and finds work by doing the illustrator. Between the end of the 1940s and the following decade he collaborated with important satirical newspapers specializing in the design of animals, including a round and sympathetic marmot, called Max, which at the time was successful. Signing with the last name, Giovannetti, but probably all this is not enough. In 1958, he destroyed the figurative painting work of thirty years, which he never exposed and in which he no longer recognizes, to try new researches. He adopts abstractism, updated on what is happening in Europe in the field of informal art and decides to be known only by the name of “Luigi Pericle”. The turn of the year is 1959, when the Maecenas Peter G. Staechelin begins to become interested in his work: it is the beginning of a partnership that will allow the artist to work with greater tranquility and the collector to acquire a hundred of his works. Staechelin has an important name in the world of Swiss art: Rudolf Staechelin, Peter’s father, boasts a collection of treasures including works by Van Gogh, Monet, Cézanne, Picasso and Gauguin. The next decade is full of promising meetings: Hans Hess, the York Festival Maker and York Museum Manager, discovers his work and decides to make it known in England. Luigi Pericle’s first exhibition is at Tooth Gallery in London, followed by other exhibitions, always on English soil. He also knows Herbert Read, poet and historian of British art, expert in surrealism and personal counselor of Peggy Guggenheim. Read is not a stranger to Ascona, because he attends Eranos seminars: he is impressed by the painter, who admires the technical skills and the beauty of his works, influenced in his opinion by Oriental spirituality.
In the mid-1960s, ours is an artist who has a bright path, with the support of important figures but … something breaks: Luigi Pericle decides to retire and not expose more, perhaps because of the need for spirituality, or the desire to abandon one world that does not match with him.
Greta and Andrea Biasca-Caroni show me the works of Luigi Pericle found in her home. The paintings speak of an artist who looks at tachisme and neocube, which prefers an essential language and has a small palette to a few tones. Forms are controlled, geometric structures, there seems to be too much room for improvisation. Different flavors, are very free, beautiful and expressive the cards, from which we can infer his interest in the East. Times now seem ripe for a thorough research on the artist, which outlined his biography and allowed him to study the work. I have the impression that we will hear about Luigi Pericle again.
The mysterious rebel who retired at the threshold of success
Ever-celebrated for his marmot Max The painter chose to isolate himself in the villa in Ascona on Verbano lake. The biography of Luigi Pericle Giovannetti is still to be written. It is known that the artist was born in Monterubbiano, a small village in the province of Fermo, in the Marche region, in 1916 by an Italian father and a French mother, and at a young age, presumably with his family, emigrates to Basel. Early talent as a child begins to be interested in painting, enrolled in a school of art but soon shows some dissatisfaction with classical teaching methods and looks for new ways. He is interested in Oriental philosophies and studies ancient Greek, Egyptian and Chinese civilizations, where she finds inspiration for his art. In the 1950s he devoted himself to the illustration, starting to collaborate with some satirical magazines, such as the Swiss Nebelspalter and the English Punch, for which he invented the Max marmot, which was first published in 1952 and which has undergone a great success. It destroys all of its production from the thirties and forties, but continues to dedicate itself to painting, drawing on colors alone, as did the ancient masters, and also using Chinese special resins and inks. In 1959 he became acquainted with the Swiss collector Peter G. Staechelin, who became his patron and gained an important number of works since then (still today in the Staechelin Collection there are a hundred paintings made by Luigi Pericle Giovannetti). To make him work in great tranquility, Staechelin acquires for Giovannetti and his wife Ursula the Casa Halla (which in Spanish means “discovery”) at the slopes of Monte Verità in Ascona. Under the name of “Luigi Pericle”, between 1962 and 1965 he exhibited several times in England, at the Tooth Gallery in London, contemporary art gallery specializing in some of the great names of European abstractism and informalism, such as Karel Appel, Antonio Saura, Jean Dubuffet, Corneille and Asger Jorn. He exhibited in the national museums of York, Cardiff, Newcastle, Leicester, Hull and Bristol Many of his works end up in British and American private collections such as the one of the daughter of the prime minister of England Alec Douglas Home or Lady Tate (Tate Gallery, London). Still in 1965 he received in Ascona the visit of Herbert Read, former curator of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Harvard professor and personal adviser to Peggy Guggenheim. A meeting that could really change the artist’s life if it did not make a decision that still remains inexplicable today. For reasons that are unknown to us, Luigi Pericle retires from the scenes and the center of his world becomes Ascona’s home, where he continues to paint until the 1980s, devoting himself to meditation, research and writing, and maintaining however, epistolar contacts with scholars and intellectuals all over the world. In 2001 he died without heirs in Ascona and his house remained closed for fifteen years.
Courier of Ticino 21/10/2017
Thank you very much to :
Raffaella Castagnola Rossini who first understood the importance of this discovery.
Raffaella Castagnola, Director of the Culture and Studies Division of Canton Ticino.
Fabio Pontiggia, director of the Ticino Corriere who personally verified.
Simona Ostinelli who has made this wonderful article. Simona is an art historian and cultural journalist.
LUIGI PERICLE is not knows today because he decided to disappear and never expose more but :
1965 was the year of the triumph for Luigi Pericle with a 6 museums tourné in England under the direction of Hans Hess :
York Art Gallery
York Art Gallery and statue of William Etty
|Location||York, United Kingdom|
|Key holdings||British Studio Pottery, Views of York, William Etty|
|Collections||Western European paintings, British paintings, prints, watercolours, drawings, ceramics|
|Owner||York Museums Trust|
York Art Gallery in York, England is a public art gallery with a collection of paintings from 14th-century to contemporary, prints, watercolours, drawings, and ceramics. It closed for major redevelopment in 2013, reopening in summer of 2015. It is managed by York Museums Trust.
The gallery was created to provide a permanent building as the core space for the second Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition of 1879, the first in 1866 occupied a temporary chalet in the grounds of Bootham Asylum. Following the 1879 exhibition the renamed Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Institution aimed to create a permanent art exhibition. It was given a major boost by the bequest of York collector John Burton (1799–1882) of more than one hundred 19th-century paintings, supplemented by gifts and in the early years two major temporary loan collections. In 1888 the north galleries were leased to York School of Art, which moved there in 1890 from Minster Yard.
York City Council purchased the buildings and collection in 1892. Temporary summer exhibitions ceased in 1903 but a major exhibition of the work of York artist William Etty was held in 1911 when his statue by local sculptor George Walker Milburn was erected outside. The period up to the commencement of the Second World War was one of modest growth, the major event being purchase of the Dr W A Evelyn collection of prints, drawings and watercolours of York in 1931. The building was requisitioned for military purposes at the outbreak of the Second World War and closed, suffering bomb damage in an air raid on 29 April 1942.
The gallery reopened in 1948 with a small temporary exhibition before a major restoration in 1951–52 after which began a major revival of fortune under the direction of Hans Hess. He made important acquisitions with the assistance of the York Art Collection Society founded in 1948 (later Friends of York Art Gallery) and the National Art Collections Fund, and then in 1955 the donation of FD Lycett Green’s collection of more than one hundred continental Old Master paintings. As a result of the systematic build up under Hess and his successors, the gallery has a British collection especially of late-19th-century and early-20th-century works with some French works representative of influential styles.
In 1963 the gallery was given Eric Milner-White‘s collection of studio pottery. It was supplemented by other major donations and loans in the 1990s and 2000s, most notably those of WA Ismay and Henry Rothschild (1913–2009).
The site for the 1879 exhibition was an area in the grounds of the medieval St Mary’s Abbey known as Bearparks Garden. It is fronted by what became Exhibition Square which was cleared by the demolition of a house and the former Bird in Hand Hotel. Designed by York architect Edward Taylor the art gallery consisted of an entrance hall, central hall, north and south galleries and on the upper floor a Grand Picture Saloon. Its intended grand classical façade decorated with 18 stone figures, a carved tympanum and 14 mosaics was not done for financial reasons and it was decorated instead with two tiled panels representing ‘Leonardo expiring in the arms of Francis I’, and ‘Michaelangelo showing his Moses’, together with four ceramic roundels depicting York artists William Etty (painter), John Carr (architect), John Camidge (musician), and John Flaxman (sculptor). To the rear of the building was a large temporary exhibition hall with machinery annex; the exhibition hall remained in use for meetings, concerts and other functions until 1909 and was not demolished until the Second World War. In 1888 the north wing was leased to York Art School which added a further storey in 1905, and after that wing was vacated by the school it housed the city archives from 1977 to 2012. Major works took place in 1951–2 to repair bomb damage and rebuild the west end, and the main gallery was refurbished in 2005. The building is Grade II listed.
The 2013–15 restoration cost £8 million and was undertaken to increase display space by some 60%, including reincorporation of the north wing, an upper floor extension to the south wing, and reorganisation of the internal space for exhibition and storage. The development enables the area to the rear of the building to be restored to public use as part of the Museum Gardens. The reopened gallery houses a new centre for British Studio Ceramics on the upper floor. The gallery reopened on 1 August 2015 at which point admission charges were introduced. Previously admission had been free.
The gallery has more than 1,000 paintings. Western European paintings include 14th-century Italian altarpieces, 17th-century Dutch morality works, and 19th-century works by French artists who were predecessors and contemporaries of the Impressionists. British paintings date from the 16th-century onward, with 17th and 18th-century portraits and painting of Giambattista Pittoni, Victorian morality works and early 20th-century work by the Camden Town Group associated with Walter Sickert being particularly strong. Amongst York born artists the gallery has the largest collection of works by William Etty and good paintings by Albert Moore. Henry Keyworth Raine, the great nephew of William Powell Frith, gifted various works, including a portrait of George Kirby (1845–1937), the First Curator of York Art gallery.
The gallery holds a collection of British studio ceramics with more than 5,000 pieces. They include works by Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada, William Staite Murray, Michael Cardew, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Jim Malone and Michael Casson.
Works on paper
The collection of more than 17,000 drawings, watercolours and prints is particularly strong in views of York with more than 4,000 examples, largely watercolours and drawings, some by local artists such as Henry Cave, John Harper, John Browne and Patrick Hall. Watercolour artists represented include Thomas Rowlandson, John Varley, Thomas Girtin, J. M. W. Turner, and 20th century painters Edward Burra, John Piper and Julian Trevelyan. The gallery holds the William Etty archive.
There are more than 3,000 decorative objects particularly from Yorkshire potteries from the 16th-century to the early 20th-century, Chinese and Korean pottery from the 18th and 19th-century, and glassware.
Curators and Directors
- 1947–1967 Hans Hess
- 1967–1977: John Ingamells
- 1977–2002: Richard Green
- 2002–2008: Caroline Worthington
- 2008– : Laura Turner
- Visit York Tourism Awards: Visitor Attraction of the Year 2016 (Over 50,000 Visitors category) (winner)
- Art Fund: Museum of the Year 2016 (finalist)
- Kids in Museums: Family Friendly Museum Award 2016 (winner)
- European Museum Forum: European Museum of the Year 2017 (nominated/pending)
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- Worthington, Caroline. “Refurbishment of York Art Gallery”. Axis: the online directory for contemporary art. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
- “Curator’s corner” (PDF). Friends of York Art Gallery Newsletter. January 2009. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 3 June2009.
I’ve been now in post for six months
- “Winners of the Visit York Tourism Awards 2016”. Visit York. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- “Victoria and Albert Museum wins Art Fund Museum of the Year 2016”. Art Fund. 6 July 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- “Awards”. Kids in Museums. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- “EMYA 2017 Nominees”. European Museum Forum. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
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Laing Art Gallery
|Location||Newcastle upon Tyne, England|
The Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, is located on New Bridge Street. The gallery was designed in the Baroque style with Art Nouveau elements by architects Cackett and Burns Dick and is now a Grade II listed building.It was opened in 1904 and is now managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. In front of the gallery is the Blue Carpet. The building is Grade II listed.
The gallery collection contains paintings, watercolours and decorative historical objects, including Newcastle silver. In the early 1880s, Newcastle was a major glass producer in the world and enamelled glasses by William Beilby are on view along with ceramics (including Maling pottery), and diverse contemporary works by emerging UK artists. It has a programme of regularly rotating exhibitions and has free entry.
The gallery’s collection of seminal paintings includes John Martin‘s dramatic The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah,as well as important works by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Edward Burne-Jones (Laus Veneris), William Holman Hunt(Isabella and the Pot of Basil), Ben Nicholson and others. Local paintings include pictures by Ralph Hedley. There is also an extensive collection of 18th and 19th-century watercolours and drawings, including work by J. M. W. Turner,John Sell Cotman etc.
- “Public Art Online Regeneration Case Studies – Blue Carpet”. publicartonline.org.uk.
- Historic England. “Laing Art Gallery (1145885)”. National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
- “Our collections | Laing Art Gallery”. laingartgallery.org.uk. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- “BBC – Your Paintings – Laing Art Gallery”. bbc.co.uk.
- “Laus veneris | Art UK Art UK | Discover Artworks Laus veneris”. bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- “Laing Art Gallery’s Companion Guide Book marks 110 years of history | Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Blog”. blog.twmuseums.org.uk. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
Ferens Art Gallery
|Location||Queen Victoria Square, Hull|
|Website||Ferens Art Gallery|
The Ferens Art Gallery is an art gallery in the English city of Kingston upon Hull. The site and money for the gallery were donated to the city by Thomas Ferens, after whom it is named. The architects were S. N. Cooke and E. C. Davies.Opened in 1927, it was restored and extended in 1991. The gallery features an extensive array of both permanent collections and roving exhibitions. Among the exhibits is a portrait of an unknown woman by Frans Hals. The building also houses a children’s gallery and a popular cafe. The building is now a Grade II listed building.
In 2009, an exhibition and live performance took place at the venue, to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of The New Adelphi Club, a live music venue less than 2 miles (3 km) north.
In 2013, the gallery acquired a fourteenth-century painting by Pietro Lorenzetti, depicting Christ Between Saints Paul and Peter. The acquisition was jointly funded by the Ferens Endowment Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Art Fund.
In May 2015, it was announced that the gallery would get a £4.5 million makeover to enable it to host the Turner Prize in 2017 as part of the UK City of Culture programme. The gallery reopened on 13 January 2017. On 8 February 2017, Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visited the gallery to view the completed refurbishment.
Art in the Ferens Art Gallery
Frans Hals, Portrait of a Woman (between 1655 and 1660)
Frederic Leighton, Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnon, 1869
Charles Edward Perugini, A Summer Shower, c. 1888
Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery Established 1823 Location Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1RL, England, United Kingdom Coordinates Visitors 467,608 (2015/16)* Ranked 23rd nationally Director Laura Pye Website Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is a large museum and art gallery in Bristol, England. The museum is situated in Clifton, about 0.5 miles (0.8 km) from the city centre. As part of Bristol Culture it is run by the Bristol City Council with no entrance fee. It holds designated museum status, granted by the national government to protect outstanding museums. The designated collections include: geology, Eastern art, and Bristol’s history, including English delftware. In January 2012 it became one of sixteen Arts Council England Major Partner Museums.
The museum includes sections on natural history as well as local, national and international archaeology. The art gallery contains works from all periods, including many by internationally famous artists, as well a collection of modern paintings of Bristol.
In the summer of 2009 the museum hosted an exhibition by Banksy, featuring more than 70 works of art, including animatronics and installations; it is his largest exhibition yet. It was developed in secrecy and with no advance publicity, but soon gained worldwide notoriety.
The standard opening hours are: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am–5pm. The museum is also open 10am-5pm on Bank Holiday Mondays and Mondays during Bristol school holidays.
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery run a programme of free and paid events throughout the year that include multi week exhibitions, workshops and drop in gallery curator talks. The biggest annual event is the weekend celebration for Chinese New Year during February which has dancing dragon and lion performances, martial arts, traditional Chinese dances, storytelling, family trails, arts and craft activities. Information on current and past events can be found on the museum’s website.
The Museum and Art Gallery’s origins lie in the foundation, in 1823, of the Bristol Institution for the Advancement of Science and Art, sharing brand-new premises at the bottom of Park Street (a 100 yards (91 m) downhill from the current site) with the slightly older Bristol Literary and Philosophical Society. The neoclassical building was designed by Sir Charles Robert Cockerell(1788–1863), who was later to complete the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and build St. George’s Hall, Liverpool, and was later used as the Freemasons Hall.
In April 1871 the Bristol Institution merged with the Bristol Library Society and on 1 April 1872 a new combined museum and library building in Venetian Gothic style was opened at the top of Park Street. The lease on the former Bishop’s College building next door, which had been the Library Society’s home since 1855, passed to the local army reserve unit, whose drill hall lay behind it; it became the Victoria (later Salisbury) Club and a restaurant. The old Institution building was sold to the Freemasons. Although the new building was extended in 1877, by the 1890s the Museum and Library Association was struggling financially, and even unable to pay its curator, Edward Wilson (1848–1898). Negotiations with the city corporation culminated in the transfer of the whole organisation and premises to Bristol city corporation on 31 May 1894. Wilson remained Curator until his death – only this time he was actually paid!
However, in June 1899 the site of the Salisbury Club was offered for sale to the city, the tobacco baron, Sir William Henry Wills (1830–1911, later Lord Winterstoke) offering £10,000 to help buy the site and build a new City Art Gallery on it. Designed by Frederick Wills in an Edwardian Baroque style work on the new building started in 1901, and opened in February 1905. It was built in a rectangular open plan in 2 sections each consisting of a large hall with barrel-vaulted glazed roofs, separated by a double staircase. It incorporated a Museum of Antiquities, as it had been decided during the planning stage that Assyrian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities should be grouped with art in the new structure, rather than remaining with the natural historycollections that remained in the old building. Interestingly, stone tools continued to reside with the geology collections within natural history. Yet more space became available to museum displays when Bristol Central Library moved down the hill to College Green in 1906. The vacant rooms were reconstructed as invertebrate and biology galleries.
In 1913, the army reserve’s drill hall, which now lay between the rear of the Art Gallery and the rapidly expanding University of Bristol, was purchased by the two institutions, three-fifths of the complex falling to the Museum and Art Gallery, the rest to the University. Unfortunately, the outbreak of war in 1914 put paid to any plans for new building; indeed, the Upper Museum Room (geology) was cleared in 1916 to become a ‘Soldiers Room’ to entertain convalescents and the Egyptian Room ‘served for reading and writing and for the delivery of special demonstrations. However, after being used for storage for over a decade, it proved possible to demolish the Drill Hall to permit a rearward extension of the Art Gallery. This was funded by Sir George Alfred Wills (1854–1928, a cousin of Lord Winterstoke) and completed in 1930.
The 1872–77 Museum building was gutted by fire following a bomb hit on the night of 24–25 November 1940, during the Bristol Blitz, some 17,000 of the natural history specimens being lost. The 1930 extension of the Art Gallery was also hit, but luckily escaped the conflagration, although suffering badly from blast damage. Nevertheless, the Art Gallery partially reopened in February 1941, now also housing some of the Museum’s surviving material on a ‘temporary’ basis. Although now housed in the same building, from April 1945, the Museum and Art Gallery were formally split into separate institutions with the lower floor becoming the Museum and the upper floors the Art Gallery. As part of this restructuring, the archaeology and anthropology collections were transferred from the Art Gallery to the Museum.
In February 1947, the remains of the old Museum building (with the exception of the undamaged lecture theatre) were sold to Bristol University: it was then rebuilt as its dining rooms, later becoming Brown’s Restaurant. The sale of the building in 1947 reflected the intention that new premises would soon be provided for the Museum and the Art Gallery; planning began in 1951, but then dragged on for the next twenty years, during which time the old buildings received minimal attention, other than the insertion of mezzanines to gain additional space.
Meanwhile, various proposals had been made for new museum buildings in Castle Park, in the very centre of Bristol, overlooking the river Avon. However, spiraling costs and funding difficulties meant that in 1971 the plans were abandoned and a smaller amount of money was put into upgrading the existing building. Wholesale refurbishment was required, including rewiring, rearranging offices, creating laboratories and dividing up and furnishing the basement to provide proper storage for the reserve collections.
In the summer of 2009 the museum hosted an exhibition by Banksy, called Banksy versus Bristol Museum featuring more than 70 works of art, including animatronics and installations; it is his largest exhibition yet. It was developed in secrecy and with no advance publicity.
Today, the top floor art galleries include a collection of Chinese Glass and the “Schiller collection” of Eastern Art donated by Max Schiler, the Recorder of Bristol from 1935 to 1946 and collected by his older brother Ferdinand N Schiler. It contains a range of Chinese ceramics wares spanning different dynastic periods. Particularly fine pieces include a number of white, light blue and green-glazed (Ying Qing and Qingbai) wares from the Tang (AD 618–960) and Song (AD 960–1279) dynasties. It also holds a collection of Bristol blue glass.
The Egyptology gallery contains mummies besides other items and a wall decoration made over 3,000 years ago – the Assyrian Reliefs, which were transferred from the Royal West of England Academy. It also has a significant collection of Egyptian antiquities, a considerable number derived from the excavations of the Egypt Exploration Society and British School of Archaeology in Egypt. A completely rebuilt Egyptian gallery opened in 2007.
A natural history gallery contains examples of aquatic habitats in the south west of England and an interactive map of local wildlife sites and a freshwater aquarium containing fish typical of the region.
The museum also holds many of the prehistoric and Roman artefacts recovered before the flooding of Chew Valley Lake,and other local archaeological finds such as those from Pagans Hill Roman Temple and the Orpheus Mosaic from Newton St Loe.
The Friends of Bristol Art Gallery has supported the gallery since 1947, acquiring over 300 works of art for the gallery. The Friends of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery was founded in 1977 (first known as the “Bristol Magpies”) to support the principal sites of Bristol’s museums, galleries and archives service.
On 1 July 2014 Arts Council England announced that Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives secured its second ‘Major partner museum‘ funding for 2015-18 which will see the service receive approximately £4.7 million over three years to help deliver public outcomes.
Related museums and sites
Other museums and sites administered by Bristol Culture are M Shed, Blaise Castle House Museum, the Red Lodge Museum, the Georgian House Museum, Bristol Archives and Kings Weston Roman Villa. The Bristol Industrial Museum, which closed in 2006 reopened in June 2011 as a museum called M Shed dedicated to telling the story of Bristol.
References and sources
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National Museum Cardiff
National Museum Cardiff Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd Established 1912 Location Cathays Park, Cardiff, Wales Coordinates Visitors 472,544 (2015) Public transit access Cathays
Cardiff Bus 27
National Museum Cardiff (Welsh: Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd) is a museum and art gallery in Cardiff, Wales. The museum is part of the wider network of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. Entry is kept free by a grant from the Welsh Government; however, they do ask for donations throughout the museum.
The National Museum of Wales was found in 1905, with its royal charter granted in 1907. Part of the bid for Cardiff to obtain the National Museum for Wales included the gift of the Cardiff Museum Collection, then known as “Welsh Museum of Natural History, Archaeology and Art,” which was formally handed over in 1912. The Cardiff Museum was sharing the building of Cardiff Library, and was a sub-department of the library until 1893. Construction of a new building in the civic complex of Cathays Park began in 1912, but owing to the First World War it did not open to the public until 1922, with the official opening taking place in 1927. The architects were Arnold Dunbar Smith and Cecil Brewer, although the building as it now stands is a heavily truncated version of their design.
The sculpture scheme for the building was devised by Sir W. Goscombe John and consisted of the groups “Prehistoric Period” and “Classic Period” by Gilbert Bayes as well as “Learning”, “Mining,” and “Shipping”by Thomas J Clapperton, “Art” by Bertram Pegram, “Medieval Period” by R. L. Garbe, “Music” by David Evans and others. D. Arthur Thomas was commissioned to produce a model for the Dragons, and A. Bertram Pegram to produce a model for the Lions that were placed around the base of the dome.
In 2011, with funding from the Clore Duffield Foundation, the former Glanely Gallery was transformed into the Clore Discovery Centre, which offers hands-on exploration of the museums 7.5 million items that are normally in storage, including insects, fossils and Bronze Age weapons. School groups, formal and informal groups can also be accommodated but should book in advance.
National Museum of Art
The National Museum of Art opened in 2011.
The collection of Old Master paintings in Cardiff includes, among other notable works, The Virgin and Child between Saint Helena and St Francis by Amico Aspertini, The Poulterer’s Shop by Frans Snyders and A Calm by Jan van de Cappelle. A collection of landscape paintings in the classical tradition includes works by Claude, Gaspard Dughet, Salvator Rosa and two works by Nicolas Poussin: The Funeral of Phocion and The Finding of Moses (the latter owned jointly by the Museum and the National Gallery, London). These works prefigure the career of the Welsh-born Richard Wilson, called “the father of British landscape painting”. In 1979 four cartoons for tapestries illustrating scenes from the Aeneid were bought as works by Peter Paul Rubens, but the attribution is now disputed.
There is a gallery devoted to British patronage of the 18th century, in particular that of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, who was nicknamed ‘the Welsh Medici‘ for his lavish spending on the arts. Included is a portrait of Williams-Wynn in Rome with fellow Tourists by Pompeo Batoni, one of his second wife by Sir Joshua Reynolds and his chamber organ designed by Robert Adam. Other paintings of note from this period is a portrait of Viscountess Elizabeth Bulkeley of Beaumaris as the mythological character Hebe, by the ‘sublime and terrible’ George Romney, and Johann Zoffany‘s group portrait of Henry Knight, a Glamorgan landowner, with his children.
The collection of French art assembled by Margaret and Gwendoline Davies, granddaughters of the wealthy industrialist David Davies bequeathed to the National Museum in the 1950s and 1960s, make Wales’s National Gallery one of international standing. It includes the largest group of paintings by Honoré Daumier in the world and the most important by Jean-François Millet in Britain. Works by Claude Monet include Venetian scenes such as San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk and examples from his Rouen Cathedral and Water Lilies series. Post-impressionism is represented by Van Gogh’slate work Rain at Auvers, and by Paul Cézanne‘s The François Zola Dam, the first painting by the artist to be displayed in a British public collection. The two most famous works in the Davies Sisters’ collection are La Parisienne by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, exhibited in the First Impressionist Exhibition, and a version of Rodin’sKiss cast in bronze.
The art gallery has works by all of the notable Welsh artists, including landscapes by Richard Wilson and the pioneering Thomas Jones. There is a considerable body of work by John Gibson, Queen Victoria’s favourite sculptor, and major paintings by Augustus John and his sister Gwen John, including the former’s famous image of Dylan Thomas. Ceri Richards is well represented. The artistic output of David Jones is well represented, but seldom on display owing to the fragile nature of his works on paper. Wales’s most prominent contemporary painter, Sir Kyffin Williams (1918–2006), also features in the collection.
The collection of 20th-century art includes works by sculptorsJacob Epstein, Herbert Ward and Eric Gill and painters including Stanley Spencer, the British Impressionist Wynford Dewhurst, L. S. Lowry, and Oskar Kokoschka. Works by contemporary artists are on rotational display, including those by Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach and Rachel Whiteread.
- Mason, Rhiannon (2007), Museums, Nations, Identities: Wales and its National Museums, Cardiff: University of Wales Press
- Osmond, John, ed. (2007), Myths, Memories and Futures: The National Library and National Museum in the Story of Wales, Cardiff: Institute of Welsh Affairs
Media related to National Museum Cardiff at Wikimedia Commons
New Walk Museum
New Walk Museum Established 1849 Location Leicester, United Kingdom Coordinates Curator Mark Evans Website New Walk Museum and Art Gallery
The New Walk Museum and Art Gallery is a museum on New Walk in Leicester, England, not far from the city centre.It opened in 1849 as one of the first public museums in the United Kingdom. New Walk contains displays of both science and art, international and local. The original building was designed by Joseph Hansom, designer of the hansom cab. It has been expanded several times, most recently in 2011.
Dinosaurs and fossils
The Rutland Dinosaur, affectionately nicknamed George, is a specimen of Cetiosaurus oxoniensis. The 15 metres (49 ft) dinosaur, which is among the most complete sauropod skeletons in the world, was discovered in June 1968, in the Williamson Cliffe quarry near Little Casterton in Rutland. The skeletal remains have been in the museum since 1975; the majority of the bones in the display are replicas of the originals, which are too fragile to be used. The Rutland Dinosaur featured on an episode of Blue Peter, and was opened by Blue Peter’s Janet Ellis in 1985.
The Barrow Kipper, named after the flattened fish, is a skeleton of an unidentified plesiosaur discovered in Barrow upon Soar in 1851. Originally classified as Plesiosaurus macrocephalus, it was later reclassified as Rhomaleosaurus megacephalus. However, according to Adam Smith and Gareth Dyke (2008), the fossil is actually of another, unnamed genus.
In September 2011, the museum expanded its Dinosaur Gallery, reorganizing fossils, adding a new room, and modifying the gallery itself. The new Dinosaur Gallery, which predominantly features extinct marine reptiles, was opened by David Attenborough. The “star attractions” of the new gallery include the aforementioned Rutland cetiosaur, Charnia and plesiosaur fossils, as well as a Leedsichthys fossil and a piece of the Barwell Meteorite.
The museum holds a specimen of international importance, the Charnia fossil. It is the first fossil that was ever described that came from undoubted Precambrianrocks, which until this point had been thought to be too early for large forms of life.  The object in the museum – “Leicester’s fossil celebrity” – is a holotype, that is, the actual physical example from which the species was first identified and formally described. Charnia masoni was named after Roger Mason, who discovered it at Charnwood Forest in 1957, when he was a schoolboy, and who went on to a career as an academic geologist. He acknowledges, and the museum’s Charnia display explains, that the fossil had been discovered a year earlier by a schoolgirl, Tina Negus, “but no one took her seriously”.
The museum holds the UK’s largest collection of German Expressionist art. These paintings, including works by George Baselitz, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, were smuggled out of Nazi Germany before World War II. The Nazis condemned the work of these painters – see the 1937 Degenerate Art Exhibition. Hans Hess, son of the German-Jewish industrialist and art collector, Alfred Hess, was assistant curator at the museum.
On the first floor of the museum is an exhibition area that changes periodically. Recent exhibits have included a display focusing on the search for the remains of Richard III, a Wallace and Gromit display, and Spirits of War to Hands of Peace, an exhibit of paintings and sculpture on the horrors of war and the power of peace.
- Official website
- “New Walk Museum Vision”, University of Leicester.
- Penelope Harris, “The Architectural Achievement of Joseph Aloysius Hansom (1803–1882)”, The Edwin Mellen Press, 2010, ISBN 0-7734-3851-3.
- Leicester City Council
- Upchurch P & Martin J (2002). “The Rutland Cetiosaurus: the anatomy and relationships of a Middle Jurassic British sauropod dinosaur”. Palaeontology. 45 (6): 1049–1074. doi:10.1111/1475-4983.00275.
- Adam S. Smith & Peggy Vincent (2010). “A new genus of pliosaur (Reptilia: Sauropterygia) from the Lower Jurassic of Holzmaden, Germany” (PDF). Palaeontology. 53 (5): 1049–1063. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2010.00975.x.
- “Sir David Attenborough launches Dinosaur Gallery at Leicester’s New Walk Museum”, Culture24, 7 September 2011.
- Leicester City Council
- Ford, T. D. (1958). “Precambrian fossils from Charnwood Forest”. Yorkshire Geological Society Proceedings. 31 (3): 211–217. doi:10.1144/pygs.31.3.211.
- “Leicester’s fossil celebrity: Charnia and the evolution of early life” (PDF). University of Leicester. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- Mason, Roger. “The discovery of Charnia masoni” (PDF). University of Leicester. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- “In April 1957, I went rock-climbing in Charnwood Forest with two friends, Richard Allen and Richard Blachford (‘Blach’), fellow students at Wyggeston Grammar School, Leicester. I was already interested in geology and knew that the rocks of the Charnian Supergroup were Precambrian although I had not heard of the Australian fossils. Richard Allen and I agree that Blach (who died in the early 1960s) drew my attention to the leaf-like fossil holotype now on display in Leicester City Museum. I took a rubbing and showed it to my father, who was Minister of the Great Meeting Unitarian Chapel in East Bond Street, taught part-time at University College (soon to be Leicester University) and thus knew Trevor Ford. We took Trevor to visit the fossil site and convinced him that it was a genuine fossil. His publication of the discovery in the Journal of the Yorkshire Geological Society established the genus Charnia and aroused worldwide interest. … I was able to report the discovery because of my father’s encouragement and the enquiring approach fostered by my science teachers. Tina Negus saw the frond before I did but no one took her seriously.”
- Leicester City Council
- “Leicester New Walk Museum exhibits German Expressionist art”. BBC. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
- Lewis, Caroline. “Attenborough donates Picasso ceramics collection to Leicester New Walk Museum”, Culture24, 7 June 2007. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
- “New art exhibition highlights the contrasts between war and peace”, Leicester City Council, 23 March 2011.
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