A Dandy at The Grange – Sir William Nicholson

DSC03887-001 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.DSC03864 - Copy

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.DSC03883 DSC03873

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.

DSC03880-001Amanda Davidson, who hangs the exhibitions at the Grange, has included a children’s dressing up box because  Nicholson’s children responded to the joys of dressing up.

DSC03930There is a lovely painting  by Mabel Nicholson of one of the children in costume, Mabel being a talented artist in her own right.

DSC03876 DSC03868 DSC03872

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.

DSC03882Robert 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.DSC03879

A little gem of a gallery in the heart of Rottingdean, don’t miss this one.

DSC03933 A reprint of the ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’  available and at The Kemp Town Books shop. they also have a limited edition of the illustrations.

DSC03889Details of the Sunday talks at The Grange

A previous post may be of interest – link below


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This entry was posted in Brighton - out and about, Cheer yourself up, Finding my feet in Brighton, Photography, Rottingdean and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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