"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Art and Sculpture

Family chauffeuring on Sunday meant I had an hour to spare so I whizzed over to Winterbourne House and Gardens to renew my membership and perhaps have a quick look round the glass-houses. Unfortunately, it was closed - I had managed to forget that they close for a few weeks at this time of the year for routine maintenance. Luckily, a few hundred yards away is the Barber Institute of Fine Arts which was open and I haven't visited for some years.

The Institute was founded by Lady Barber in December 1932 for the "study and encouragement of art and music" at the University of Birmingham. The building was designed by Robert Atkinson, FRIBA, who had been a Director of the Architectural Association in London, and was built between 1935 and 1939. It was opened by Queen Mary in July, 1939, and is an outstanding example of public architecture from the 1930's. Today it is a Grade II Listed Building and still functions as an art gallery with a music auditorium for concerts and a centre for study and research by the University.

I've added the title of the painting/sculpture and artist/sculptor, dates, etc. if I made notes at the time.

The Madonna and Child attributed to Giovanni della Robbia, Florence ~1500/6.

The Coronation of the Virgin by an Unknown English Artists, possibly Nottingham ~1400.

Lion Mask (from a fountain) by an Unknown Italian Artist, possibly Tuscany, 13th Century, marble.

The Age of Bronze, Auguste Rodin, 1875/6

The current exhibition in the Lady Barber Gallery is entitled "Terms of Engagement" and includes portraits from the University of Birmingham.

Portrait Bust of Dame Hilda Lloyd, Professor of Obstetrics and a medical pioneer by Sir Jacob Epstein.

There are four main galleries - Beige Gallery - Art 1700-1800, Blue Gallery - 19th Century and Modern Art, Green Gallery - Art before 1600 and the Red Gallery - Art 1600-1700.

Symphony in White by James McNeill Whistler, London

The Blue Bower by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, London, 1865

A Landscape at Pont Aven attributed to Paul Gauguin, Brittany, 1888

An Allegorical Tomb of the 1st Duke of Devonshire, ~1725, Sebastiano Ricci and Mario Ricci

A Landscape in Flanders by Peter Paul Rubens

The Marriage Feast at Cana, Bartolome Esteban Murillo, Seville, ~1672

David Leeuw, An Amsterday Merchant and His Family, Abraham van den Tempel, 17th century

It was such a shame I only had half an hour as I could have spent several hours there and I managed to miss the Coin Gallery completely. Well worth a future and longer visit at some stage and I've also been looking at details of some of the concerts they hold there.


Margaret Adamson said...

Glad you made good use of your time. I have an art appreciation group in my home so these photographs really interested me.

David said...

A fine way to spend half an hour and as you say it was a shame you couldn't have spent a bit longer there. Though I am not as au fait about art as other members of my family, I do nevertheless like to visit art galleries whenever I have the time and simply enjoy a few quiet hours looking at the many wonderful works. I was particularly pleased to see the Murillo painting, a favourite artist of mine.

Hope all is well and kindest regards :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - Thanks Margaret - so glad you enjoyed. It was a preferable alternative to sitting in a cold car for an hour!! :)

David - Thanks very much David. It is a peaceful and relaxing way to spend time - I sometimes go to the Art Gallery at Birmingham Museum just to look round. If/when I return to the Barber I will look out for some more Murillo paintings.

Al fine here thanks David and I hope you are all well too - best wishes Caroline

SeagullSuzie said...

Lots of things closed here too, and at first when we moved here we got caught out a lot. Glad you were able to make good with your time after all.

Ragged Robin said...

SeagullSuzie - Thanks Suzie. Yes, quite a lot shut here until Spring (although Winterbourne re-opened the day after my hoped for visit!!).

Toffeeapple said...

That is a lovely collection of paintings, worth a lot of money now I would think.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Like the lion mask, and the Rodin bronze is very much a classical steal, I'd say!

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Thanks so much. Yes, I would think so. There were a lot of works by other famous artists that I didn't get chance to take photos of. Really must try and return :)

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thanks Simon. The lion mask was one of my favourites :) I've just looked into the Rodin bronze and it looks as though it was rather controversial at the time - he also had several casts made as years went by.

Deb said...

A lovely way to spend half an hour. Thanks for sharing Caroline. :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Deb - Thanks so much :) So pleased you enjoyed.

Millymollymandy said...

What a shame about the glass house - I presume it has some plants in it? However all was not lost with the gallery to look through (despite not much time). Good to see a painting of Brittany there! :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks Mandy. Yes, the glasshouses are quite colourful there even in January. Apart from the orchid house where the camera steams up as soon as you enter esp. in Winter!! Glad you liked the Brittany painting :)