INSPIRED BY WADDESDON

Kate Malone: Inspired by Waddesdon, The Coach House, Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, until 16th October 2016

 

Baron Ferdinand Lidded Vase, 2016 © Kate Malone. Courtesy of Adrian Sassoon, London, photo Sylvain Deleu

Baron Ferdinand Lidded Vase, 2016
© Kate Malone. Courtesy of Adrian Sassoon, London, photo Sylvain Deleu

Visitors to the special display at Waddesdon Manor this year of ceramics by Kate Malone will be left with no doubt why she is so highly regarded internationally. To many of you she will also be known as one of the judge’s in the BBC’s The Great Pottery Throw Down.

Kate Malone ©National Trust, Waddesdon Manor photo Kathy Chantler

Kate Malone
©National Trust, Waddesdon Manor photo Kathy Chantler

She certainly found inspiration at Waddesdon and has produced pieces that reflect the gardens especially those at Eythrope on the estate which was the home of Alice de Rothschild.  From Waddesdon her inspiration came from architectural details and the passementerie decorating the curtains and upholstery in the house itself. Her residency while preparing for this project has certainly paid off and she has even been inspired by the house’s renowned Sèvres collection.

Waddesdon Passementerie Vase, 2016 and Waddesdon Passementerie Knotted Gourd, 2016 © Kate Malone. Courtesy of Adrian Sassoon, London, photo Sylvain Deleu

Waddesdon Passementerie Vase, 2016 and Waddesdon Passementerie Knotted Gourd, 2016
© Kate Malone. Courtesy of Adrian Sassoon, London, photo Sylvain Deleu

 

Beauvais tapestry manufactory, Large door curtain mounted with sections of Beauvais tapestry, and large rope tie-back, 1685-1689 {assembled later}; Photo Rachel Boak © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

Beauvais tapestry manufactory,
Large door curtain mounted with sections of Beauvais tapestry, and large rope tie-back, 1685-1689 {assembled later};
Photo Rachel Boak © The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

 

Monsieur Hebert's Lidded Sevres Jar, 2016 © Kate Malone. Courtesy of Adrian Sassoon, London, photo Sylvain Deleu

Monsieur Hebert’s Lidded Sevres Jar, 2016
© Kate Malone. Courtesy of Adrian Sassoon, London, photo Sylvain Deleu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate has described this project saying “I cover new ground in this exhibition by working with new clay-types and creative techniques. My hope was to create a visual feast, with bountiful ceramic sculptures that interpret many aspects of Waddesdon’s history. I’ve aimed to capture the very essence of Waddesdon through displaying a host of artworks which represent the land, farmers, builders, gardeners, and people who have worked and lived there.”

Assorted Eythrope Pumpkins, 2016 © Kate Malone. Courtesy of Adrian Sassoon, London, photo Sylvain Deleu

Assorted Eythrope Pumpkins, 2016
© Kate Malone. Courtesy of Adrian Sassoon, London, photo Sylvain Deleu

I hope you will agree with me that she certainly has more than achieved her aims.

Kate Malone, A Pair of Masquerade Gourds, 2016 © Kate Malone. Courtesy of Adrian Sassoon, London

Kate Malone, A Pair of Masquerade Gourds, 2016
© Kate Malone. Courtesy of Adrian Sassoon, London

 

Events:

An Encounter with Ceramic Artist Kate Malone

Wed 28 September and Wed 5 October 2016

10.30 am-4.15 pm £40.00.

Participants will discover what inspired Kate Malone in the Manor and Eythrope Gardens, and see the exhibition with Kate herself.

 

Miss Alice Lidded Vase, 2015 © Kate Malone. Courtesy of Adrian Sassoon, London, photo Sylvain Deleu

Miss Alice Lidded Vase, 2015
© Kate Malone. Courtesy of Adrian Sassoon, London, photo Sylvain Deleu

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk

http://www.adriansassoon.com

 

Beatrix Potter rules!

AUCTION UPDATE: The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury, 28th July 2016

 

The Tale of Peter Rabbit Reproduction, © Bloomsbury Auctions

The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Reproduction, © Bloomsbury Auctions

Today, on what would have been her 150th birthday, a first edition of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit sold for £43,400. This copy is one of the original 250 copies from the first printing and was given by Potter to her goddaughter, Helen Burton.

A big thank you to Beatrix Potter for enriching our childhoods with her marvellous tales!

 

http://www.dreweatts.com

Sir Edward Heath – at home

Sir Edward Heath – at home in Salisbury

Arundells - Entrance Front

Arundells – Entrance Front

Standing in the wonderful environs of Salisbury’s Cathedral Close is Arundells a beautiful house of Georgian appearance which in part dates back to the mid-thirteenth century.  It was from 1985 to 2005 the home of the former politician and Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath and although he had a long political career the house is very much a personal home which reflects all facets of his life. It is important to remember as you go round it that it remains very much as it was when he lived there.

The Entrance Hall

The Entrance Hall

Immediately on arrival at the entrance hall you get the welcoming flavour of the house and an idea of how the strands of his interests are skilfully woven together. This he achieved with the help of the designer Derek Frost. Many of the paintings in the hall reflect his love of sailing through depictions and models of the five Morning Cloud yachts he sailed and interspersed among them are Napoleonic prisoner-of-war ship models made from bone and rigged with fine strands of hair.  The maritime-inspired combined clock and barometer was a gift from President Nixon.  There are also drawings by Sickert and Augustus and Gwen John.

Sir Edward seated at the piano in the Drawing Room

Sir Edward seated at the piano in the Drawing Room

A photograph of a young Sir Edward with Augustus John and Dorelia can be seen in the adjoining drawing room which is dominated by a Steinway grand piano which Sir Edward played and upon which are photographs of politicians and world leaders.  Among the many artworks in the room are paintings by L S Lowry, Ken Howard RA, Derek Hill and a painting of Heath’s home town ‘Broadstairs’ by Sir Robert Ponsonby-Staples which was a gift from Sir John Betjeman, given as Sir Edward had so often admired it when visiting Betjeman. Two pieces of sculpture one of Sir Winston and Lady Churchill by Oscar Nemon and a bust of Sir Edward by Martin Jennings are worthy of inspection as are the carved Chinese pieces on the mantelpiece and to its right the display of blue and white porcelain including a large pair of bottle vases which were a gift from Chairman Mao.

Portocarrero ‘Girl in a Fantastic Costume Cuba’

Portocarrero
‘Girl in a Fantastic Costume Cuba’

Pictures in the corridor towards the dining room and library include two paintings by Sir Winston Churchill which he gave to Heath.  There is also a fine group of etchings by William Wyllie, two Singer Sargent’s and a painting by the Cuban artist Portocarrero which was a gift from Fidel Castro.

The Dining Room

The Dining Room

The dining room is hung with pictures by John Piper, including two Sir Edward commissioned himself.  The table is set for lunch which was one of his favourite ways of entertaining – roast lamb followed by Stilton cheese, halibut and lemon pudding were among his favourites as were Brussels sprouts – and from the place cards on view when I was there one gets an idea of the wide range of people he invited which included Princess Margaret, Sting and Sir Harold Wilson.  Dame Maggie Smith, Terry Wogan and Yehudi Menuhin are among other well-known guests. There is also a large group of ceramic pieces on display including Tang pottery, Sevres, Chelsea and Worcester porcelain as well as some Copenhagen Flora Danica.

A view of some of the ceramics in the Dining Room

A view of some of the ceramics in the Dining Room

The Library overlooking the garden contains the high wing-back chair Sir Edward favoured and it was where he would entertain and chat to colleagues and friends from all political parties and walks of life. The walls are adorned with 18th and 19th century Japanese prints which perfectly suit the room. One of the major achievements of his political life was a growing rapport between the UK and China which is also reflected throughout the house but he also obviously had an interest in their arts and culture which is particularly apparent in the panels of specially commissioned wallpaper on the staircase which relates the popular Chinese legend of the Monkey King. They were a house-warming present from two of his former Private Secretaries.

The Library

The Library

Upstairs is Sir Edward’s study which was his private sanctum and where he worked at a Georgian writing desk which had previously belonged to David Lloyd-George. Heath’s army career is also recalled in another room with uniforms and other memorabilia on show from when he was with the Royal Artillery during the War and later on with the Honourable Artillery Company. His Garter Banner hangs on an upstairs corridor wall.

The Study

The Study

Downstairs just beyond the stair hall is a short corridor which is hung with political cartoons by leading cartoonists such as Giles, Jak, Low and Trog, many of which feature Sir Edward.  He enjoyed sharing them with his visitors although sometimes I imagine it may have been a wry chuckle.

Emmwood ©The Daily Mail

Emmwood
©The Daily Mail

Outside the beautiful garden, an intriguing combination of open spaces and secluded areas, is very much as created for Sir Edward.  It stretches down to the confluence of the Rivers Nadder and Avon and reveals a wonderful view across to the meadows. In one corner is the restored bow of Morning Cloud III which was sunk by a freak wave in September 1974, and whose two crew members Nigel Cummings and Christopher Chadd (Sir Edward’s godson) tragically lost their lives.

The view from the end of the garden

The view from the end of the garden

At the front of the house with its view into the Close and of the Cathedral is an exhibition space in a building which used to house Sir Edward’s archive.  At present (until mid-August) there is a display focusing on ‘World Leaders of the 1970s: A Decade of Turmoil’ which features President Nixon, Leonard Brezhnev, Chairman Mao Zedong, Willy Brandt, Indira Gandhi, President Pompidou, Kakuei Tanaka, Pierre Trudeau and Henry Kissinger.  Interestingly enough the latter will be giving a lecture in London in October as part of a series of celebrations organised by the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation to celebrate the centenary of Sir Edward’s birth (9th July, 2016). The following exhibition which runs until May 2017 is ‘Heath at 100: A Political Life in Cartoons’ which promises to be a fascinating way of remembering the major events of his time in politics.

Tang Dynasty Horse

Tang Dynasty Horse

My visit made a lasting impression and I would readily accept an offer to live there just as it is, because it’s a happy house of taste, comfort and history.  I can quite understand why Sir Edward fell in love with it at first sight and for us visitors today it is extremely fortunate that he was able to acquire the lease in 1992 and that he formed a charitable trust which allows us to share in the delights of Arundells and to remember Sir Edward, the man.

Sir Edward in the garden. The spire of Salisbury Cathedral can be seen in the background.

Sir Edward in the garden. The spire of Salisbury Cathedral can be seen in the background.

http://www.arundells.org

Hiroshi Yoshida The Inland Sea Series

Hiroshi Yoshida
The Inland Sea Series

BOOK REVIEW: From Chanel to Reves

From Chanel to Reves

La Pausa and Its Collections at the Dallas Museum of Art

Olivier Meslay and Martha MacLeod

Published by GILES in association with the Dallas Museum of Art
PRICE — UK£9.95 / US$15.00
ISBN — 978-1-90780-72-4

 CVPRipnUEAA7zpq

I always find books that tell the story of a house fascinating and such is certainly the case with this appealing book which relates the story of the house that Chanel had built for herself and which she furnished with some help from Bendor Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster.  It provides a real glimpse into Chanel’s taste and way of life.

In 1953 she sold the Villa La Pausa to Wendy and Emery Reves and included many of the Villa’s furnishings and books and so these were combined with the wide-ranging art collection of the Reves which has an emphasis on Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works.  One figure which crosses into both halves of the story is Sir Winston Churchill who knew the Duke and had met Coco Chanel but was also a regular guest of the Reves at La Pausa and indeed there are four works by him as well as other souvenirs.

Even if you cannot get to Dallas to see this collection I heartily recommend this elegant tome that tells the story so well and so enticingly.

 

http://www.gilesltd.com

http://www.dma.org

An artist re-visited!

Winifred Knights (1899-1947), Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, London SE21, until 18th September 2016

Winifred Knights, The Marriage at Cana, 1923, Oil on canvas, 184 x 200 cm, Collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Gift of the British School at Rome, London, 1957. © The Estate of Winifred Knights

Winifred Knights, The Marriage at Cana, 1923,
Oil on canvas, 184 x 200 cm,
Collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Gift of the British School at Rome, London, 1957.
© The Estate of Winifred Knights

It seems quite surprising that an artist who was a star at the Slade School and went on to be the first British woman to win the Prix de Rome is not better known. However thanks to the Dulwich Gallery and the exhibition’s curator Sacha Llewellyn this is very eloquently being put right.

Winifred Knights, Full-length Seated Female Nude, three-quarter view, 1917, 39 x 31.5 cm, UCL Art Museum, 6055, University College London. © The Estate of Winifred Knights

Winifred Knights, Full-length Seated Female Nude, three-quarter view, 1917,
39 x 31.5 cm,
UCL Art Museum, 6055, University College London.
© The Estate of Winifred Knights

Knights’ inspiration was the Italian Quattrocento and this is very clearly reflected in her detailed work which while being of her time recalls palette-wise the frescoes of the early Renaissance. The exhibition follows her life chronologically and features drawings, studies and large works.

Winifred Knights, Scenes from The Life of Saint Martin of Tours, c.1928-33, Oil (or possibly tempera) on canvas with glazing, 73 x 159.5 cm, Milner Memorial Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral. Reproduced courtesy of the Dean and Chapter, Canterbury Cathedral. © The Estate of Winifred Knights

Winifred Knights, Scenes from The Life of Saint Martin of Tours, c.1928-33,
Oil (or possibly tempera) on canvas with glazing, 73 x 159.5 cm,
Milner Memorial Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral. Reproduced courtesy of the Dean and Chapter, Canterbury Cathedral.
© The Estate of Winifred Knights

The exhibition, which I warmly recommend to you, is perhaps best summed up by Sacha Llewellyn who says: “Although never part of the modernist avant-garde, Knights engaged with modern-life subjects, breathing new life into figurative and narrative painting to produce an art that was inventive and technically outstanding. She explored form and colour to create a mood of calmness and reflection that impacts directly on our senses. Like so many women artists, heralded and appreciated in their own day, she has disappeared into near oblivion. This exhibition, in bringing together a lifetime of work, will create an irrefutable visual argument that she was one of the most talented and striking artists of her generation.”
Please do go and see for yourself!

Winifred Knights, Cartoon for The Deluge, 1920, Pencil on paper, squared, 147.3 x 177.8 cm, The Wolfsonian – Florida International University, Miami Beach, Florida, The Mitchell Wolfson, Jr Collection. © The Estate of Winifred Knights

Winifred Knights, Cartoon for The Deluge, 1920,
Pencil on paper, squared, 147.3 x 177.8 cm,
The Wolfsonian – Florida International University, Miami Beach, Florida, The Mitchell Wolfson, Jr Collection.
© The Estate of Winifred Knights

http://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

Beguiling Butterflies

Maria Merian’s Butterflies, The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London SW1, until 9th October 2016

Branch of West Indian Cherry with Achilles Morpho Butterfly, 1702-03 Royal Collection Trust (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Branch of West Indian Cherry with Achilles Morpho Butterfly, 1702-03
Royal Collection Trust (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

This is an exquisite gem of an exhibition that delights the eye and informs the mind. The German-born Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717) was both an artist and entomologist whose enquiring mind took her and her youngest daughter on the challenging two month voyage across the Atlantic to Suriname, a Dutch colony in South America in 1699. No mean feat at the age of fifty-two, especially as she had had to raise the funds to cover the cost herself. Already known for her 1679 tome on butterflies and moths, her purpose was to study its insects in their natural habitat.

Pineapple with cockroaches, 1702-03 Royal Collection Trust / (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Pineapple with cockroaches, 1702-03
Royal Collection Trust / (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

She and her daughter resided in the hot and humid climate of Paramaribo, the Colony’s capital, and went into the surrounding forests to garner specimens.  These they watched transform into butterflies, accurately recording the process in detailed drawings, which also include their host plants.  She also studied the lizards, snakes and crocodiles she came across too.

Cassava with White Peacock Butterfly and young Golden Tegu, 1702-03 Royal Collection Trust (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Cassava with White Peacock Butterfly and young Golden Tegu, 1702-03
Royal Collection Trust (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Illness forced her to return to Amsterdam in 1701, bringing specimens back with her.  Over the next four years she worked to bring her findings to publication with Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium being published in 1705 to great and deserved acclaim. The vellum plates on display – a mixture of printing and hand-painting – were luxury versions of the plates in Metamorphosis and were acquired by George III for his library.

Grape Vine with Vine Sphinx Moth and Satellite Sphinx Moth, 1702-03 Royal Collection Trust (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Grape Vine with Vine Sphinx Moth and Satellite Sphinx Moth, 1702-03
Royal Collection Trust (C) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

http://www.royalcollection.org.uk

 

 

Kakiemon at the British Museum

The Asahi Shimbun Display Made in Japan: Kakiemon and 400 years of porcelain, Room 3 British Museum Great Russell Street, London WC1, until 21 August 2016

Boy on a Go Board, Kakiemon Kiln, later 17th century © The Trustees of the British Museum

Boy on a Go Board, Kakiemon Kiln, later 17th century
© The Trustees of the British Museum

This is a great celebration of Japanese porcelain which was first made four hundred years ago in the town of Arita. Japan was a latecomer to porcelain production when compared to China and Korea but thanks to domestic unrest in China it was able to quickly gain a market which thanks to the Dutch East India Company, included Europe.

Painting overglaze enamels onto Kakiemon porcelain © The Trustees of the British Museum

Painting overglaze enamels onto Kakiemon porcelain
© The Trustees of the British Museum

The traditional classic Kakiemon style of the last thirty years of the 17th century comprised of overglaze enamels (orange-red, green, blue and yellow) which were sparsely but elegantly applied to the porcelain.  It was particularly popular with Queen Mary in this country and you will find examples in many stately homes and museums too. Although the production of the classic style actually ceased in Japan in the 18th century it was copied by the Chinese and in Europe.

Four Kakiemon style dishes from Japan, China, Germany and Britain, 17th-18th centuries © The Trustees of the British Museum

Four Kakiemon style dishes from Japan, China, Germany and Britain, 17th-18th centuries
© The Trustees of the British Museum

One porcelain maker was Sakaida Kizaemon who in 1647 was thought to be the man who introduced the overglaze enamelling technique to the porcelain kilns in Arita; a fact which earned him the name Sakaida Kakiemon I – which reflects the orangey-red colour that comes from kaki (persimmon). Kakiemon I was the starter of a dynasty of potters which passes down to the eldest son and in fact the current Sakaida Kakiemon XV who succeeded his father Kakiemon XIV in 2013 has especially made a new work, decorated with acorn branches, for the British Museum.  In the mid-20th century Kakiemon XIII brought back the traditional style in a more contemporary form and that tradition continues today.

Sakaida Kakiemon XV examines his work © The Trustees of the British Museum

Sakaida Kakiemon XV examines his work
© The Trustees of the British Museum

This is a must see exhibition for anyone interested in porcelain!

 

Britishmuseum.org