Study Day: European Paintings Before 1900

  1. Programme: morning
  2. Programme: afternoon
  3. Discussion

Programme: afternoon

Redevelopment of the Main Picture Galleries at The Bowes Museum
Emma House, Assistant Keeper of Fine Art, The Bowes Museum

The main picture galleries at the Bowes Museum were redeveloped as part of a major redevelopment project which began in 2006. Emma House discussed the plan to uncover original architectural features in the galleries, the installation of a new lighting system, and the debate over the colour of the walls.

She explored concerns over the installation of paintings, which had been previously hung in a single row limiting the number which could be displayed. Displays of paintings hung in multiple rows were tested on the public, influenced by old photographs showing pictures hanging from floor to ceiling. Emma described how the museum settled on a temporary installation in which smaller paintings were hung on a lower row, with larger paintings on top.

Expanding the Canon: Post-1800 Paintings at the National Gallery
Christopher Riopelle, Curator of Post-1800 paintings, The National Gallery, London

In the early 20th century, the Gallery’s post-1800 collection was dominated by a small group of French artists based around Paris (alongside Van Gogh, who worked for many years in France). Christopher Riopelle discussed the expansion of the ‘modern collection’ under the directorship of Michael Levey in the mid-1970s, including the purchase of non-French works such as Klimt’s ’Portrait of Hermine Gallia‘ and Caspar David Friedrich’s ’Winter Landscape’.

The talk discussed the 1996 accord with the Tate, under which the National Gallery received the Tate’s 19th-century European paintings on long-term loan in exchange for the loan of the National Gallery’s post-1900 European paintings, which helped develop the Tate Modern. The talk concluded by noting the Gallery’s more recent acquisitions and discussing the role of temporary exhibitions in expanding the canon, such as the Gallery’s first purchase of a work by Köbke for the 1985 exhibition ‘Danish Paintings of the Golden Age’.

European paintings at the Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead
Amy Barker, Curator, Shipley Art Gallery

This talk discussed the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead and examined the life of Joseph Shipley, the solicitor and art collector whose bequest led to the foundation of the Gallery. Curator Amy Barker discussed Shipley’s status as a collector in a period when there was no public art collection in the North East, and explored his taste for religious and narrative paintings. She reflected on the creation of the Gallery in 1917, its current role as a centre for arts and crafts, and plans for the Gallery’s future, including improving access to the collection, and developing resources for the Learning Team. 

Information about the collection is in the Public Catalogue Foundation catalogue and can also be viewed on the NICE website [External link].

Next: Discussion

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