Watts Gallery (restored)
|Owner||Watts Gallery Trust|
|Opened||1 April 1904|
|Architect||Christopher Hatton Turnor|
|Designated||4 June 1975|
Watts Gallery – Artists' Village is an art gallery in the village of Compton, near Guildford in Surrey. It is dedicated to the work of the Victorian-era painter and sculptor George Frederic Watts.
Compton is a village and civil parish in the Guildford district of Surrey, England. It is between Godalming and Guildford. It has a medieval church and a close connection to fine art and pottery, being the later life home of artist George Frederic Watts. The village has considerable woodland and agriculture, and the undeveloped portions are in the Metropolitan Green Belt. The village is traversed by the North Downs Way and has a large western conservation area. Central to the village are the Watts Gallery, the cemetery chapel commissioned by his wife for him, two inns and the parish church.
Guildford is a large town in Surrey, England, 27 miles (43 km) southwest of London on the A3 trunk road midway between the capital and Portsmouth.
Surrey is a subdivision of the English region of South East England in the United Kingdom. A historic and ceremonial county, Surrey is also one of the home counties. The county borders Kent to the east, East Sussex and West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast.
The gallery has been Grade II* listed on the National Heritage List for England since June 1975.
The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) is England’s official list of buildings, monuments, parks and gardens, wrecks, battlefields and World Heritage Sites. It is maintained by Historic England and brings together these different designations as a single resource even though they vary in the type of legal protection afforded to each. Conservation areas do not appear on the NHLE since they are designated by the relevant local planning authority.
Watts moved to "Limnerslease" in Compton in 1891, and with his artist wife, Mary Fraser-Tytler, planned a museum devoted to his work, which opened in April 1904, just before his death.
The architect of the Gallery was Christopher Hatton Turnor, an admirer of Edwin Lutyens and C.F.A. Voysey. Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, the building contains top-lit galleries that allow Watts's work to be displayed under natural light.
Christopher Hatton Turnor was an English author, architect, and social reformer. He is known for having designed the Watts Gallery, Surrey and the Stoneham War Shrine, Hampshire.
Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, was an English architect known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era. He designed many English country houses, war memorials and public buildings. In his biography, the writer Christopher Hussey wrote, "In his lifetime (Lutyens) was widely held to be our greatest architect since Wren if not, as many maintained, his superior". The architectural historian Gavin Stamp described him as "surely the greatest British architect of the twentieth century".
The Arts and Crafts movement was an international trend in the decorative and fine arts that began in Britain and flourished in Europe and America between about 1880 and 1920, emerging in Japan in the 1920s as the Mingei movement. It stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms, and often used medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration. It advocated economic and social reform and was essentially anti-industrial. It had a strong influence on the arts in Europe until it was displaced by Modernism in the 1930s, and its influence continued among craft makers, designers, and town planners long afterwards.
It is one of only a few galleries in the UK devoted to a single artist, and is often hailed as a national gallery in the heart of a village. The present director is Alistair Burtenshawand the curator is Dr Cicely Robinson. Former curators include Dr Nicholas Tromans, Wilfrid Blunt, Richard Jefferies and Mark Bills. Watts Gallery is a registered charity under English law.
Wilfrid Jasper Walter Blunt (1901–1987) was an art teacher, author, artist and curator of the Watts Gallery at Compton, Surrey (1959–83).
Richard Jefferies was curator of the Watts Gallery for two decades from 1985–2006. His role led to his becoming an acknowledged expert on the Victorian painter and sculptor G.F. Watts. Jefferies' uncle had been chief assistant to Mary Seton Watts in the last ten years of her life and Richard was born on a visit by his parents to his aunt and uncle at Compton in 1945. He started as Custodian at the Gallery on 1 February 1969 after an earlier discussion with the then Curator, Wilfrid Blunt. He provides the foreword for Hutchings book on Watts' sculpture.
A charitable organization or charity is a non-profit organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy and social well-being.
Watts Gallery was placed second in the final of the BBC TV series Restoration Village in 2006.
In January 2008 it was announced that the Gallery intended to deaccession and sell two Victorian paintings, Sleeping Woman (1880) by Albert Joseph Moore and Triumph of Love (1871) by Edward Burne-Jones, which had both been bequeathed to the collection by Cecil French. These were duly sold. The money was used to maintain the Gallery which was closed from September 2008 until 2010 for restoration.
In December 2006 Watts Gallery received a £4.3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for renovations to help safeguard the future of the building and its collections.
Watts Gallery reopened in June 2011 after a major scheme of works, including extension, refurbishment and restoration. Visitors can now experience the Watts collection in the historic galleries displaying the original decorative schemes.
Over one-hundred paintings by G. F. Watts are on permanent display at the Gallery. Spanning a period of 70 years they include portraits, landscapes and his major symbolic works. From the dramatic entrance of the Livanos Gallery to the monumental sculpture and studio artefacts in the Sculpture Gallery, Watts Gallery shows the collection left by the artist as his legacy.
In January 2016, Watts Gallery opened the newly-renovated "Limnerslease", the former home and studio of G. F. and Mary Watts, completing the Artists' Village.
Compton's burial ground, nearby, houses Watts' remains and is dominated by the ornate Arts & Crafts Watts Mortuary Chapel, designed by Watts' wife Mary, also run by the museum.
In 2017, Surrey County Council was the subject of some controversary when it agreed to provide a grant to the gallery of £100,000 per annum over 4 years to make up for loss of grants from elsewhere, at a time when the council were making cuts of £34 million to local services.
Following the closure of the De Morgan Centre, London, in the summer of 2014, the Watts Gallery and the De Morgan Foundation, a registered charitypreserving the work of William De Morgan and Evelyn De Morgan, entered into a collaboration which saw the opening of a long term exhibition in the Richard Jeffries Gallery in the main gallery building. This exhibition includes a number of key works from the De Morgan Collection.
Further, since January 2015, the De Morgan Foundation has had its office in the Curator's House, in the grounds of the Watts Gallery.
Dulwich Picture Gallery is an art gallery in Dulwich, South London. The gallery, designed by Regency architect Sir John Soane using an innovative and influential method of illumination, opened to the public in 1817. It is the oldest public art gallery in England and was made an independent charitable trust in 1994. Until this time the gallery was part of Alleyn's College of God's Gift, a charitable foundation established by the actor, entrepreneur and philanthropist Edward Alleyn in the early-17th century. The acquisition of artworks by its founders and bequests from its many patrons resulted in Dulwich Picture Gallery housing one of the country's finest collections of Old Masters, especially rich in French, Italian and Spanish Baroque paintings and in British portraits from Tudor times to the 19th century.
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George Frederic Watts, RA was an English Victorian painter and sculptor associated with the Symbolist movement. He said "I paint ideas, not things." Watts became famous in his lifetime for his allegorical works, such as Hope and Love and Life. These paintings were intended to form part of an epic symbolic cycle called the "House of Life", in which the emotions and aspirations of life would all be represented in a universal symbolic language.
The legacy of a family's passion for Victorian art and design, Wightwick Manor is a Victorian manor house located on Wightwick Bank, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. Owned by the National Trust since 1937, the Manor and its grounds are open to the public. It is one of only a few surviving examples of a house built and furnished under the influence of the Aesthetic movement and Arts and Crafts movement. The house is in a grand version of the half-timbered vernacular style, of which the most famous original example is Little Moreton Hall a few miles away.
Mary Seton Fraser Tytler (1849–1938) was a symbolist craftswoman, designer and social reformer.
The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art is a museum in Canonbury Square in the district of Islington on the northern fringes of central London. It is the United Kingdom's only gallery devoted to modern Italian art and is a registered charity under English law.
The De Morgan Centre for the Study of 19th Century Art and Society was a gallery in the London Borough of Wandsworth, England, which was home for a few years to the De Morgan Collection – a large collection of the work of the Victorian ceramic artist William De Morgan and his wife, the painter Evelyn De Morgan. William De Morgan's work was inspired by Middle Eastern and particularly Iznik ceramics which created in vivid blue and green glazes. De Morgan is also credited with the rediscovery in Victorian Britain of the art of lustre glazes. Evelyn De Morgan's art is notable for her rich use of colour and her emphasis on strong female protagonists. The De Morgans were involved in the social issues of the day such as women's suffrage, and this engagement was covered by the museum.
The Henry Moore Foundation is a registered charity in England, established for education and promotion of the fine arts — in particular, to advance understanding of the works of Henry Moore. The charity was set up with a gift from the artist in 1977. The Foundation supports a wide range of projects, including student bursaries, fellowships for artists and financial grants to various arts institutions. It operates from Perry Green in Hertfordshire and at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, England.
The Leighton House Museum was the London home of painter Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton (1830-1896), who commissioned the architect and designer George Aitchison to build him a combined home and studio noted for it's incorporation of tiles and other elements purchased in the Near East to build a magnificent Qa'a (room). The resulting building, completed 1866–95, on the privately owned Ilchester Estate, is now Grade II* listed. It is noted for its elaborate Orientalist and aesthetic interiors.
Guildford Museum is the main museum is in the town of Guildford, Surrey, England. The museum is on Quarry Street, a narrow road lined by pre-1900 cottages running just off the pedestrianised High Street. This main site of the museum forms the gatehouse and annex of Guildford Castle, which the staff help to run. It is run by Guildford Borough Council and has free entry between 11am - 4.45pm on Monday to Saturday. It is closed on Sundays and on Christmas Day.
York Art Gallery in York, England is a public art gallery with a collection of paintings from 14th-century to contemporary, prints, watercolours, drawings, and ceramics. It closed for major redevelopment in 2013, reopening in summer of 2015. It is managed by York Museums Trust.
The Ben Uri Gallery is a registered museum and charity currently sited at 108a Boundary Road, off of Abbey Road in St John's Wood, London, England. It features the work and lives of émigré artists in London, and describes itself as "The Art Museum for Everyone".
The Compton Potters' Arts Guild was a pottery, founded by and based at the Surrey home of Scottish artist, Mary Fraser Tytler.
The Watts Cemetery Chapel or Watts Mortuary Chapel is a chapel in an Art Nouveau version of Celtic Revival style in the village cemetery of Compton in Surrey. While the overall architectural structure is loosely Romanesque Revival, in the absence of any appropriate Celtic models, the lavish decoration in terracotta relief carving and paintings is Celtic Revival, here seen on an unusually large scale. According to the local council, it is "a unique concoction of art nouveau, Celtic, Romanesque and Egyptian influence with Mary's own original style". Other responses have been less positive. Ian Nairn, in the 1971 Surrey volume of the Buildings of England series, described the interior as "one of the most soporific rooms in England" and regretted "the intolerable torpor and weariness of the motifs". It is a Grade I listed building.
Anne-Katrin Purkiss is a photographer, born in Karl-Marx-Stadt, Germany in 1959 and moving to Britain in 1984 after graduating from University of Leipzig in 1983. Her father Joachim Seyffarth (1928—2014) was a German curator of monuments and photographer.
The Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice is a public monument in Postman's Park in the City of London, commemorating ordinary people who died saving the lives of others and who might otherwise have been forgotten. It was first proposed by painter and sculptor George Frederic Watts in 1887, to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The scheme was not accepted at that time, and in 1898 Watts was approached by Henry Gamble, vicar of St Botolph's Aldersgate church. Postman's Park was built on the church's former churchyard, and the church was at that time trying to raise funds to secure its future; Gamble felt that Watts's proposed memorial would raise the profile of the park. The memorial was unveiled in an unfinished state in 1900, consisting of a 50-foot (15 m) wooden loggia designed by Ernest George, sheltering a wall with space for 120 ceramic memorial tiles to be designed and made by William De Morgan. At the time of opening, only four of the memorial tiles were in place. Watts died in 1904, and his widow Mary Watts took over the running of the project.
Ben Moore is a British art curator, entrepreneur and artist. He is the founder and curator of Art Below, a contemporary art organisation that places art in public spaces and has had shows in England, Germany, Japan and the United States. He is also the founder and curator of Art Wars, an exhibition of designs based on the Imperial Stormtrooper helmets from Star Wars.
The De Morgan Foundation is a charity registered with The Charity Commission For England And Wales, Registered Charity No. 310004.
Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti is a non-profit heritage foundation in Malta. It was set up in January 1992 with the aim to spread awareness about heritage of the Maltese islands among locals and foreigners through museums, publications, exhibs and events.