Past Events

Inquisitive Eyes: Recovering a Lost Chapter in British Art

Research Lunch – Gwen Yarker

  • 27 May 2016
  • 12:30 – 2:00 pm
  • Seminar Room, Paul Mellon Centre

This talk discusses the discovery that Dorset’s Purbeck region was at the foreground of modern landscape painting from the turn of the century to 1914. It reveals the research behind the exhibition and book, resulting from studying the life and work of Dorset-born painter John Everett. Mainly a footnote in other artists’ biographies, he was nonetheless instrumental in bringing fellow Slade students and tutors to the County each summer. There they worked on subjects to exhibit in London the following year, hoping to appeal to patrons. The title of the exhibition is taken from Thomas Hardy’s Tess, in which he explores the ‘ache of modernism’, a theme revealed through the intertwining narratives from plein airism to Post-Impressionism. Based on this one small region, works of art, literature and newly discovered archive material offer reference points for wider debates leading up to World War One.

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

About the speaker

  • Head and shoulder portrait of a woman with grey hair and pink floral top

    After gaining a masters degree at the Courtauld, Gwen was curator of art at the National Maritime Museum, before becoming an independent curator. She has long had an interest in Dorset, its art and culture and curated several acclaimed exhibitions using the county as an exemplar. A fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Gwen was curator of the exhibition Inquisitive Eyes. Slade Painters in Edwardian Wessex held in 2016 at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol and author of the accompanying book, both generously supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art.