Meet your favourite Sci-Fi and Superhero characters at the Dorset County Museum

StormtroopersIt’s nearly time for Dorchester Christmas Cracker night. The event that officially kicks off Christmas in the County town takes place this year on Thursday 8 December from 5.00pm.

This year by popular demand, everyone’s favourite Science Fiction and Fantasy Movie and TV characters will be back at Dorset County Museum. Come along to see a host of characters from the Superheroes from the Marvel Universe, Star Wars, Doctor Who and many more….

Delicious mulled wine and mince pies will be available to buy and the Tea Room will be open for tasty snacks and refreshments.  A browse in the Museum shop will reveal a wide range of gift ideas including toys, games, books and jewellery.  The current exhibition Speed to the West: A Nostalgic Journey an exhibition of 20th Century Railway Posters will be on display, with prints and railway memorabilia on sale in the shop for just a few more weeks – another fantastic opportunity to pick up a very special Christmas present.

scifi-and-superheros-at-dorset-county-museumEntry to the Museum on Cracker Night is FREE and everyone is welcome. All the galleries will be open on the night.

For further information and other forthcoming events contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Advertisements

St Ives and British Modernism: The George and Ann Dannatt Collection Exhibition extended to 23rd January 2016

Denis Mitchell, Selena, 1969, Pallant House Gallery, The George and Ann Dannatt Gift (2011)

Denis Mitchell, Selena, 1969, Pallant House Gallery, The George and Ann Dannatt Gift (2011) PHG © 2015

Dorset County Museum is pleased to confirm that the current exhibition St Ives and British Modernism: The George and Ann Dannatt Collection has been extended and will run until Saturday 23rd January 2016.

Director of Dorset County Museum, Dr Jon Murden commented “This has already proved to be a very popular exhibition, and I’m really pleased that it will be staying in Dorset for three extra weeks, giving locals and visitors alike the chance to come and see it.”

Ancient Landscape by George Dannatt - Dorset County Museum © 2015

Ancient Landscape by George Dannatt – Dorset County Museum © 2015

Marking the centenary of George Dannatt’s birth in 1915, the exhibition explores one of Dorset’s most significant art collections – that assembled by George and Ann Dannatt.
The collection includes a largely unseen and newly conserved group of paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints by key figures associated with the St Ives Group of Artists in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, including Terry Frost, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and John Tunnard.

The collection is one of the most significant private collections of its type, not least because Dannatt was a friend of many of the artists, and was himself an abstract artist. A selection of his own works will be included in the display, as well as archival photographs of the Dannatts with their artist friends and rare artists’ books and illustrated volumes. In addition to the St Ives Group, the collection includes works by artists associated with a poetic strain of Neo-Romanticism in Britain, including Paul Nash, David Jones, Prunella Clough and Keith Vaughan, as well as interesting prints by international artists such as Jean Arp and Eduardo Chillida.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Related Links:

 

The Place of St Ives by Brandon Taylor, Professor Emeritus of History of Art, University of Southampton

Ancient Landscape by George Dannatt - Dorset County Museum © 2015

Ancient Landscape by George Dannatt – Dorset County Museum © 2015

On Thursday 10th December at 7.30pm, Dorset County Museum invites you to come to an interesting and informative talk about British modern art which complements the current temporary exhibition at Dorset County Museum, St Ives and British Modernism: The George and Ann Dannatt Collection.

The talk will consider the character of ‘The St Ives School’ of painters and sculptors during the 1940s and 1950s, the nature of their links to the coastal environment, and the relation of their work to transatlantic and European tendencies of the day.

Professor Taylor is currently a visiting Tutor in History and Theory of Art at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. His latest publications are After Constructivism (Yale University Press 2014) and St Ives and British Modernism (Pallant House Gallery Chichester 2015).

This talk is on Thursday 10th December 2015, Dorset County Museum, 7.30pm
(doors open at 7.00pm) and is open to everyone and is FREE of charge, although we do encourage a donation of £3 to cover costs.

For further information and other forthcoming events contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Dorset County Museum to host Sci-Fi characters and Father Christmas on Cracker Night

Dorchester Christmas CrackerIt’s nearly time for Cracker Night again in Dorchester. The event that officially kicks off Christmas in the County town takes place this year on Thursday 3rd December from 5.00pm.

This year by popular demand, everyone’s favourite science fiction characters will be back at Dorset County Museum. Come along to see characters from the Star Wars films and Dr Who. Bring the children to see Father Christmas in his grotto – every child will receive a bag of goodies in return for a small donation.

Pliosaur meets Darth Vader

Delicious mulled wine and mince pies will be available to buy in the Victorian Gallery, and the Tea Room will be open for tasty snacks and refreshments. A browse in the Museum shop will reveal a wide range of gift ideas including toys, games, books and jewellery. The current exhibition St Ives and British Modernism: the George & Ann Dannatt Collection will be on display in the exhibition gallery, and prints of some of the works will be for sale – another fantastic opportunity to pick up a very special Christmas present.

Entry to the Museum on Cracker Night is FREE and everyone is welcome. The ground floor galleries will be open on the night.

For further information and other forthcoming events contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

New Exhibition: St Ives and British Modernism: The George and Ann Dannatt Collection

Denis Mitchell, Selena, 1969, Pallant House Gallery, The George and Ann Dannatt Gift (2011)

Denis Mitchell, Selena, 1969, Pallant House Gallery, The George and Ann Dannatt Gift (2011) PHG © 2015

Opening on Saturday, 3rd October 2015 and marking the centenary of George Dannatt’s birth in 1915, this new exhibition at Dorset County Museum will explore one of Dorset’s most significant and discerning art collections – that assembled by George and Ann Dannatt over a period of 50 years at their modernist home on the Dorset-Wiltshire border.

Left as a gift to the Pallant House Gallery, the collection includes a largely unseen and newly conserved group of paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints by key figures associated with the St Ives Group of Artists in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The featured artists include John Wells, Terry Frost, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and John Tunnard. The artist Turner visited St Ives in 1811, and the modest Cornish fishing port has been a hub for artists attracted to the quality of light, mild climate and beautiful coastal scenery ever since.

Ancient Landscape by George Dannatt - Dorset County Museum © 2015

Ancient Landscape by George Dannatt – Dorset County Museum © 2015

The collection is one of the most significant private collections of its type, not least because Dannatt (1915 – 2009) was a friend of many of the artists, and was himself an abstract artist. Born in Blackheath, London he became a chartered surveyor and freelance music critic. From 1948 he started to visit Dorset taking photographs while roaming the coast with his old artist friend John Wells. The photographs proved inspirational to his work, and many of them are held at Dorset County Museum.
In 1993 Dannatt exhibited at Dorset County Museum in association with his book ‘One Way of Seeing’. In Dannatt’s Artist’s Statement for the exhibition he explained “Every artist creates through a process of abstraction from what he sees. One of the significant influences in my work is that of the form and pattern in landscape. This influence, more fully and more slowly

evolved in my later work, found its beginnings in my response to the Wessex and Cornish scene. Where the work becomes purely abstract, where colour and texture are intrinsic, the forms still derive from this same experience.”

Dorset County Museum is lucky enough to own two of Dannatt’s paintings, Ancient Landscape 1982 and Poundbury Landscape, Dorset 1997. These will both be included in the exhibition along with a wider selection of Dannatt’s works, as well as archival photographs of the Dannatts with their artist friends and rare artists’ books and illustrated volumes.

Dannatt also spent time in Wiltshire before heading down to Cornwall in the early 1960s where he began to paint seriously. From 1970 to 1983 he was a regular exhibitor at the St Ives Penwith Gallery and from 1973 he also exhibited at the Newlyn Art Gallery. In addition to the St Ives Group, the collection includes works by artists associated with a poetic strain of Neo-Romanticism in Britain, including Paul Nash, David Jones, Prunella Clough and Keith Vaughan, as well as interesting prints by international artists such as Jean Arp and Eduardo Chillida.

This exhibition at Dorset County Museum will run from 3rd October 2015 to 2 January 2016.  Standard museum admissions apply.

For further information contact the Museum on on 01305 756827 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Related Links:

For the love of Dorset: The opening of Dorset County Museum’s new exhibition ‘A Poetic Eye’ with special guest Sir David Attenborough

John Craxton ExhibitionFriday evening saw Dorset County Museum’s Victorian Gallery filled with visitors eagerly awaiting their opportunity to get the first glimpse of the museum’s latest exhibition of John Craxton’s art (1922-2009); from his time in Dorset through to his days in Crete. The exhibition is a wonderful chance to see many of Craxton’s private paintings for the very first time. Never before has such an extensive collection of Craxton’s works been shown together and allows the spectator to experience and follow his journey as a man and an artist; from his early days in rural Dorset in war-time, to his discovery of the vibrancy of life in Greece.

Curator of the exhibition, Ian Collins, Sir David Attenborough and Director of the Dorset County Museum, Dr. Jonthan Murden

Curator of the exhibition, Ian Collins, Sir David Attenborough and Director of the Dorset County Museum, Dr. Jonthan Murden

‘Poetic Eye’ shows Craxton’s obsession and love of rural Dorset’s landscape and his torment and feelings of imprisonment which came from England in war-time. Ian Collins, curator of ‘Poetic Eye’, described Craxton’s time in Dorset as ‘the place where he really found himself’. Craxton’s love of Dorset is shown so clearly in his many depictions of the local landscape which Collins’ attributes to his ‘love of Dorset, of the landscape, of the mythology of Dorset, and the legends of Dorset’.

The latter half of his career, and shown beautifully within the exhibition, depicts his transformation as an artist when he moved to Crete. The vibrancy of colours which he uses shows his true development as an artist and as a man who during his time in Greece brought out of him. The exhibition is very much Dorset based and shows an artist who wasn’t concerned with selling his paintings or even being part of the ‘art scene’ and has consequently, been ignored. ‘Poetic Eye’ uncovers one of Europe’s great artists of 20th Century and one of Europe’s most forgotten artists.

The Opening: Sir David Attenborough and the man behind the paintings.

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough

Dorset County Museum warmly welcomed Sir David Attenborough and renowned art critic, Hilary Spurling to officially open the exhibition. Guests at the museum, were treated to Sir David and Hilary’s own personal accounts of what this exhibition meant to them. Sir David, who was close friend of John Craxton for over twenty five years, as well as a collector of his art works, gave a personal insight into not only Craxton the artist but Craxton the man. Sir David began by congratulating Dorset County Museum on securing such an important exhibition which shows both sides of John Craxton’s journey as an artist; from his war-time yearnings of an introverted painter, to his invention of line and use of coloured line to capture the vibrancy and colour of Crete. Sir David told amusing stories about his friend’s dislike for parting with his works, telling tales of Craxton taking pictures back after he had bought them because he wouldn’t accept they were perfected. Sir David described the exhibition as combining, ‘meaning, excitement and vibrancy’ as well as giving a heartfelt thanks to both Ian Collins, the curator of the exhibition, and Dorset County Museum for bringing Craxton back to Dorset and giving him the recognition as one of England’s great artists that he so deserves.

Hilary Spurling OBE

Hilary Spurling OBE

Hilary Spurling echoed Sir David’s gratitude to Dorset County Museum describing ‘Poetic Eye’ as bringing back to life a painter that has been previously ‘forgotten’. She went on to describe the exhibition as, ‘rediscovering Craxton and showing him in a richness and fullness that his contemporaries never had the chance to see’. She closed her thought-provoking speech by saying, ‘Craxton is very lucky to have Ian and we are also very lucky because it is us who reap the fruits’.

All that’s left to say, is don’t miss your chance to visit Dorset County Museum and see the ‘Poetic Eye’ exhibition which has so many people captivated by a man who’s paintings have previously gone under the radar. Craxton seems to finally be getting the recognition he deserves as one of Dorset’s and Europe’s great artists and the people of Dorset welcome home one of their great achievers.

A Poetic Eye: John Craxton on Cranborne Chase and Crete. exhibition is running until 19th September 2015. For more information, please visit www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or contact the museum directly on 01305 756827

Gabriella Crouch

Related Links:

A Poetic Eye: John Craxton on Cranborne Chase and Crete

Figure in Tree Lithograph by John Caxton (1944)

Figure in Tree Lithograph by John Caxton (1944)

John Craxton (1922-2009) was one of the most interesting and individual British artists of the 20th century. His life story, starting with wanderings on Cranborne Chase, was as colourful as his later pictures of the light, life and landscapes of Greece.

A new exhibition at Dorset County Museum in Dorchester will chart Craxton’s journey from Cranborne to Crete, from early paintings of dark and menaced war-time landscapes to joyful scenes painted under bright Cretan skies.

“John Craxton was one of the art world’s best-kept secrets, but his reputation has surged since his death,” said exhibition curator Ian Collins.”The retrospective exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge earlier this year attracted a huge number of visitors and we are hoping for a similar reaction here.”

“This exhibition will bring together many paintings and drawings never previously exhibited,” said Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum. “It covers an extraordinary range of work from his early life in rural Dorset to Greece where he lived after the Second World War.”

Born in London into a large, musical and bohemian family, Craxton’s nomadic habit began early – staying lengthily with relatives and family friends and briefly at school after school until being pronounced unteachable.

From an early age Craxton lodged with an artist uncle and aunt in an ancient cottage, a short walk from the Pitt Rivers Museum in Farnham. Within this Aladdin’s cave of treasures from all periods and places, Craxton educated himself in art history and archaeology while revelling in untamed Dorset.

At 14 he saw Picasso’s Guernica in Paris with the paint still wet, and at 16 he was drawing in the French capital until forced home by looming war. Rejected for military service, he drew his first masterpiece at 19 – heralding a long series of haunted paintings and drawings which were studies in entrapment. A procession of solitary figures in dark and threatened landscapes were all emblematic portraits of the artist himself.

Mentored by Graham Sutherland, and enjoying a close friendship with Lucian Freud, Craxton won youthful fame with pictures hailed as highlights of the Neo-Romantic movement (a label the artist hated). He had great charm and luck. In the week that the Craxton family home was blitzed, his textile designer friend EQ Nicholson was moving into Alderholt mill house, on the Dorset-Wiltshire border. Craxton moved in too, and reflected the surrounding scenery in many of his war-time pictures.

In the first post-war summer, of 1945, John and Lucian went to the Scilly Isles as stepping stones to warmer climes. A year later John Craxton led the partnership to Greece, where, while always travelling widely, he would be based for the rest of his life.

Pictures initially inspired by Samuel Palmer and William Blake, and then by Picasso and Miro, finally owed more and more to Cretan frescoes and Byzantine mosaics as Craxton developed a linear colour language all his own. His singular art evolved from dark to light and from disquiet to joy. But to the end he visited Cranborne Chase – with late elegiac paintings and drawings of dead elms which seemed to come full circle with his war-time pictures of six decades earlier.

The new exhibition at Dorset County Museum, curated by Ian Collins, John Craxton’s biographer and executor, will explore Craxton’s journey into light and colour – following his travels from Dorset to Greece. The exhibition will run from 28th March to 19th September 2015, moving to Salisbury Museum early in 2016. The Museum is open from 10.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Saturday.

Related Links:

Recording Wartime Shipping on the Thames: The Dazzle Paintings of John Everett by Gwen Yarker.

Lepanto by John Everett

‘Lepanto’ by John Everett, c. 1918

John Everett was one of the few official war artists of the First World War. He worked for the Ministry of Information on paintings connected with seaborne commerce, using his experience as a deep-water sailor to give his work a sense of unqualified realism. He specialised in the interpretation of the military’s use of ‘dazzle’ – a colourful camouflaging technique used to disguise ships at sea. Nothing revealed to the landsman better than Everett’s work the beauty that camouflage – through grim necessity – brought to wartime shipping.

Dorchester-born John Everett produced a remarkable and unique body of work centred on Atlantic convoys. On his death he bequeathed all remaining maritime works in his possession to the National Maritime Museum which now holds the most important collection of his paintings in the world.

Gwen Yarker MA, FSA, FRHistS, is an independent art historian, formerly art curator at the National Maritime Museum, specialising in British art and the life and work of John Everett. On Friday 23rd January 2015 she will give a lecture at Dorset County Museum about Everett’s paintings of the Dazzle ships on the Thames.

All are welcome to this event which is FREE although donations are welcome to cover costs. The lecture will start at 7.30pm and doors are open from 7.00pm. For more information phone 01305 262735 or visit www.dorsetcountymuseum.org.

Dorchester Museum to host Sci-Fi characters and Father Christmas on Cracker Night

Dorchester Cracker Night

Sci-Fi characters at Dorset County Museum at a previous Cracker Night.

It’s nearly time for Cracker Night again in Dorchester. The event that officially kicks off Christmas in the County town takes place this year on Thursday 4th December from 5.30pm.

This year everyone’s favourite Science fiction characters will be back at Dorset County Museum by popular demand. Come along to see characters from the Star Wars films and Doctor Who – and bring the children to see Father Christmas in his grotto in the Museum’s Victorian Gallery. A small donation is requested, and every child will receive a bag of goodies.

Delicious mulled wine and mince pies will be for sale in the Tea Room and the Museum shop will be open with a range of gift ideas including toys, games, books and jewellery. The current exhibition by local artist, Phyllis Wolff will be on display in the exhibition gallery and many of the works are for sale – another fantastic opportunity to pick up a very special Christmas present.

Entry to the Museum on Cracker Night is FREE and everyone is welcome. The ground floor galleries will also be open on the night.

For further information visit www.dorsetcountymuseum.org or telephone the Museum on 01305 262735.

Landscape and Identity: An exhibition by artist Phyllis Wolff

Brownsea Island by Phyllis Wolff

Brownsea Island by Phyllis Wolff © 2014

Dorset County Museum is delighted to welcome back Dorset artist Phyllis Wolff in November of this year. Phyllis has exhibited at the Museum before and the new exhibition promises to be her most exciting to date.

Landscape and Identity will contain about 80 paintings based around the concept of the identity which Dorset’s rural landscape establishes within the artist and the connection this makes with the work itself.

“Phyllis’ paintings are incredibly vibrant – full of life and colour – and represent the best of contemporary artists working in Dorset today,” said Jon Murden, Director of Dorset County Museum. “We look forward to seeing her work back in the Museum and are sure this exhibition will be as successful as the last one.”

Phyllis Wolff has lived and painted in north Dorset for nearly 40 years. She moved there soon after graduating from St Martins’ School of Art in the 1970s to be closer to the landscape which she wanted to paint. That is precisely what she has done, more or less consistently, since that time.

Phyllis has been described as a 21st Century impressionist – her Dorset garden is a rich source of inspiration to her. She paints with spontaneity and immediacy, diving into her work and suffusing it with life and colour, making it all look very easy. The use of abstracted brushstrokes and painterly marks all help to create her very distinctive and beautiful paintings.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a selection of greetings cards and a booklet on sale in the Museum shop. Entry to the exhibition is FREE.

Dorset County Museum is open from 10.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Saturday. Phyllis Wolff: Landscape and Identity will run from Saturday 22nd November until 24th December 2014 and is the perfect opportunity to find that very special Christmas present!

For more information please Tel: 01305 262735 or visit our website at www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

Related Links: