The Artist’s Home / Gallery / Monument

Turner House, 153 Cromwell Road, London SW5 OTQ, Great Britain

 

 

September 2003

 

    The Van Gogh sesquicentenary falls in 2003, and is marked by the Van Gogh Museum at Amsterdam (www.vangoghmuseum.nl) and the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo (www.kmm.nl). The first is listed as “the must-see sight”, but with a warning about queues, while the Rijksmuseum is only an also-ran in The Sunday Telegraph guide to Amsterdam, Dream Cities, 28.9.03.  The connection of the second with Van Gogh was the subject of an article in The Sunday Telegraph, 31.8.03.  Another article in the same paper, 25.5.03, discussed the Auberge Ravoux, “Maison Van Gogh”, at Auvers, a museum and restaurant established by Dominique Janssens, who has been looking for a painting by Van Gogh to put in it.

 

  The centenary of the birth of Graham Sutherland falls this year too.  The British museums are accused of ignoring it in The Guardian, 17.2.03.  Moreover a new building for his museum has still not been begun in Wales after years of talking.

 

  Arthur Fleischmann (1896-1990), a sculptor from Bratislava who became an Australian citizen, however, is now commemorated by the Arthur Fleischmann Museum, 6 Biela Street, The Old Town, Bratislava, Slovakia. The Times, 25.11.02.   www.fleischmann.org.uk. 

 

  The sesquicentenary of J.M.W.Turner’s death fell in 2001. However no adequate Turner Gallery  for his bequest has been provided, and his heirs are considering taking the failure to honour his wishes to court  (www.jmwturner.org).  The Tate at first said that the £15 million windfall from the insurance of the two stolen and now recovered Turners would be devoted to the Turner Bequest, but has since indicated that it has ideas of using part for other areas of its collections.  The Turner Museum in Florida, USA, meanwhile, has celebrated its 30th anniversary with an exhibition and an ebook.  The second part of the latter gives a fascinating account of the trials of building up and displaying the museum’s collection.  Copies can be obtained from www.turnermuseum.org or by sending a cheque or money order for £18 (25 Euros) to The Turner Museum, PO Box 18133, Florida 34276-1133.  Professor Harold Livermore, who has lived in the villa which Turner built for himself, Sandycombe Lodge, Twickenham, London, for 50 years, wishes to establish it as a foundation and is willing to give it to the public, if that will endow it, but so far has not met with any response.

 

  Ruth Guilding, “Inside the House of Canova,” Country Life, 13.3.03, describes the Casa e Gipsoteca Canoviana at Possagno as “one of the most satisfying examples of an artist’s-house-turned-museum that one could hope to find.”

 

  The National Trust has acquired The Red House, Bexley, one of the homes of William Morris (1834-96), and opened it this summer, expecting 20,000 visitors.

 

  Jorge Oteiza (1908-2003), the Basque sculptor, in 1992 gave all his works to the Jorge Oteiza Museum-Foundation, Alsasua,  Navarre, Spain, soon to be inaugurated (obituary, The Times, 5.4.03).

 

  Jean Miotte (b.1920) established the Miotte Foundation, but the Miotte Museum, Fribourg, Switzerland, burned down before the Foundation moved in.  Now Chelsea Art Museum (The Miotte Foundation), 556 West 22nd St, New York, NY 10011.

 

  A tribute to the Musée Majorelle at Marrakech was paid in a painting by Marj Bond exhibited at the Thackeray Gallery, London, in 2003.  The museum is in the former villa of Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962),  French artist and Moroccophile.

 

  Julian Spalding, The Eclipse of Art:   Tackling the Crisis in Art Today, Prestel, 2003, predicts that the sculpture park of Niki de Saint Phalle, the Tarot Garden, Garavicchio in the Maremma, Italy, “will in time come to rank as one of the great artistic sights of our age.”

 

  The Watts Gallery at Compton, Surrey, England, needs £5 million (The Art Newspaper, January 2003).  It had 13,863 visitors in 2001.  A major refurbishment is planned for the centenary of its opening in 2004.   www.wattsgallery.org.uk 

 

  Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury, Suffolk, England, has appealed for £500,000 at an exhibition at Agnew’s London, in January.  Its director, Hugh Belsey, accused the Tate of using its muscle to squash the attempt by Gainsborough’s House to acquire a picture (The Art Newspaper, December 2002, January 2003).  www.gainsborough.org 

 

  Application for grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Inc., 863 Park Av., New York, NY 10021, can be made to grants@pkf.org.

 

  Little Holland House, 40 Beeches Avenue, Carshalton, Surrey, England, was the home of Frank Dickinson (1874-1961), artist, designer, craftsman in wood and metal, who built the house himself to his own design in pursuance of the theories of Ruskin and Morris.  It is now owned by the London Borough of Sutton.  It has free entry and 1,100 visitors.

 

  The De Morgan Centre for the study of 19th Century Art and Society has recently been established at 38 West Hill, London SW18 1RZ.  The backbone of the centre is formed by the extensive collection of the works of William and Evelyn De Morgan and the related archives.  The Victorian ceramics made by the De Morgans have attracted the attention of the collector, Lord Lloyd-Webber.  www.demorgan.org.uk  

 

  The Stern Pissarro Gallery, 46 Ledbury Road, London W11 2AB, run by members of the Pissarro family, has regular exhibitions of works by them besides works by all the artists in the family for sale.   www.pissarro.net  

 

  The Leach Pottery, St Ives, Cornwall, England, is devoted to the pottery of Bernard Leach (1887-1979).  After the death of the widow of Leach in 1997 the pottery was bought by a local hotelier.   It had 6,000 visitors a year, visitors being attracted to the other museums at St Ives, including the Barbara Hepworth Museum, run by the Tate.  However it has had no such backing, and the pottery has been offered for sale at £700,000.  A call to save it has been made (The Times, 10.4.03, 15.9.03).  www.theleachpotterystives.co.uk 

 

  The David Hockney Gallery at Salts Mill, Saltaire, Yorkshire, established by Jonathan Silver after he bought the huge mill in 1987, flourishes.  www.saltsmill.org.uk 

 

  Arman (born at Nice in 1928 and now living in New York) has provided that after his death a committee of 7 will lend 50 or 60 of his key works to museums for shows.  If after 30 years his reputation is less good, they will give these works to museums.  Proposals to make an Arman Museum in Japan, near Nice or at Wichita have been made.  Arman says, “I refuse to have an Arman Museum because I’m too ambitious and too proud.  If a museum for me happens, it will happen by itself.”   Such museums are usually abandoned after 10 years.  “Nobody goes and they end up selling key pieces to pay for their costs, which defeats the whole point.  I prefer to have good pieces in the best museums rather than my own.”  Tapies with his foundation and very grand private office is just like a businessman.  (“I do not want to end up in my own mausoleum,” The Art Newspaper, January 2003).

 

  The Musée Bouchard, Paris, continues to have a regular programme of changing exhibitions.

 

  Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the architect’s birth with further developments, including the restoration as nearly as possible to the state in which Soane left them of 14 Lincoln’s Inn Fields and 3 courtyards. Its Newsletter no.7 appeared in Spring 2003.  The Patrons’ Circle was formed in 2002.  (Details from mnicholson@soane.org.uk).  Each Patron is asked to give £1,000.   www.soane.org 

 

 

 

lThe 1st edition of The World Directory of Artists’ Museums, 1995, costs £15 (+£7, if payment is not made in sterling).  Details for inclusion in the 2nd edition, giving email and other addresses and any website,  should be sent to selbywhittingham@hotmail.com.