What a great title for a new exhibition at The Grange Museum and Art gallery. Today we have wonderful examples of Sir William Nicholson’s work, woodcuts, illustrations and a film link showing the range of his work as an artist.
The woodcuts include bold designs and unusual themes for each letter of the alphabet, commissioned by Heinemann. Here we find C is for Countess, D is for Dandy, E for Earl, R for Robber, U for Urchin and learn that the work with woodcuts provided an income which was necessary for a man with a wife and four children to support. These exhibits are thanks to Peter Merry who put on the original exhibition in 1995. There are facsimiles of the original catalogue for £1. 50.
I particularly liked his woodcut of skaters, one of a series on sports, which is not only outstanding in detail but also demonstrates the fact he was a master of composition.
The preview today was a peep into the life of an artist who came to Rottingdean to paint a portrait of Rudyard Kipling and, loving the village so much, bought the Grange. An impressive scrap book shows the Grange as it was as a family home, I loved the design shown of their wonderful wallpaper on the stairway.
Robert Cross had put together a 20 minute presentation on video which shows some of Nicholson’s local landscapes, but even more impressive are his still lifes that have been featured in major exhibitions.
The reflections in silver bowl are superb, white tulips memorable. Apparently he became a well known portrait painter which ensured a good living for his family.
Robert will be giving talks on Nicholson’s style and techniques, his marriages and the difficult relationship with his son Ben. William was considered a dandy because he loved to dress up when he was painting and playing tricks on people. The talks promise to be both entertaining and informative and are on the 9th and 23rd February and 2nd of March from 4 to 5.30. at £5.00. Whoops I forget to buy one so I’ll be whizzing back to get a ticket tomorrow.
The exhibition runs from 6th Feb to 4th March and is free thanks to the support of Rottingdean Preservation Society whose chairman welcomed visitors today. A cheerful band of volunteers take it turns to welcome visitors and answer their questions.
A little gem of a gallery in the heart of Rottingdean, don’t miss this one.
A previous post may be of interest – link below
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