Past Events

Collecting watercolours: questions of landscape and Englishness, c. 1890-1914

Research Lunch – Jessica Feather

  • 24 June 2016
  • 12:30 – 2:00 pm
  • Seminar Room, Paul Mellon Centre

For Laurence Binyon writing in 1908 about the ‘revival of our English watercolour school’, the practice of watercolour was unquestionably linked to discourses about landscape and of Englishness. My talk examines the way in which long-held notions of the interconnections between watercolour, landscape and Englishness were replayed in the fin-de-siècle and early twentieth century. What kind of Englishness did this represent? Drawing on case studies of an informal network of collectors who purchased both historic but also contemporary watercolours, my paper will locate an early twentieth-century taste for the watercolours of artists like John Sell Cotman alongside an appreciation for works by Philip Wilson Steer and James McNeill Whistler. Whilst ostensibly about watercolour, my paper deals with broader themes of Englishness and Britishness, and narratives of modern landscape art.

All are welcome! However, places are limited, so if you would like to attend please book a place in advance.