Creative Scotland’s Archer resigns

Creative Scotland’s Archer resigns

Creative Scotland chief executive Janet Archer, is leaving after five years in the role.

Kampfner stands down from Fed

Kampfner stands down from Fed

John Kampfner has stood down as chief executive of the Creative Industries’ Federation, which he founded four years ago with Sir John Sorrell.

Audience agency in Scotland closes

Audience agency in Scotland closes

Axe falls after Creative Scotland grant cut

Site making its Steel City mark

Site making its Steel City mark

Sheffield’s Site Gallery is to reopen with three times the space, and a new mission with a new artistic director, it was announced today.

Ground rules set for Brexit culture deal

Ground rules set for Brexit culture deal

The government’s Brexit white paper has set out a basis to ensure artists’ mobility between the UK and Europe after Brexit.

Battersea Arts Centre heralds reopening with Trump protest

Battersea Arts Centre heralds reopening with Trump protest

Three years since Battersea Arts Centre’s great hall burnt down, it is pre-empting it autumn opening today with a defiant message for Donald Trump https://www.bac.org.uk.

TAITMAIL   What, me worry, when Mr Wright has come along?

TAITMAIL What, me worry, when Mr Wright has come along?

Who is Jeremy Wright, the headlines on Tuesday were asking.  For me, he bears an unnerving likeness to Mad Magazine’sAlfred E Neuman (a kind of 1960s Forrest Gump who only ever said “What, me worry?”), but he was the Attorney General and is now the seventh Secretary State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport since 2010.

Dulwich to get a Colour Palace

Dulwich to get a Colour Palace

Dulwich Picture Gallery in South London is to get a “Colour Palace” for its gardens next summer.

Shakespeare Schools wins Japanese arts prize

Shakespeare Schools wins Japanese arts prize

The Shakespeare Schools Foundation has won £33,000 in the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale 2018 awards.

Matthew Bourne’s tours to go green

Matthew Bourne’s tours to go green

Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures dance company is to collaborate with environmental sustainability agency Julie’s Bicycle to creative a creative green certificate for touring.

Arts centre plan for Reading Gaol

Arts centre plan for Reading Gaol

Councillors in Reading are backing a plan to turn the town’s famous jail into an arts centre.

New culture secretary appointed

New culture secretary appointed

Kenilworth MP and former Attorney General Jeremy Wright MP is the latest Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport .

New 'Netflix for the arts' to launch

A company has announced plans to to set up a vesrion of Netflix for the arts.

Creative Europe impact on UK bigger than €74m spend

Creative Europe impact on UK bigger than €74m spend

Two reports out today show that since 2014 the European art development fund, Creative Europe, has spent €74m on 334 UK-based organisations and companies and helped distribute 145 British films in other European countries, but the impact has been worth far more.

Historic London swings

Historic London swings

London’s landmarks have been put to music in the latest phase of the Musicity project, devised to bring a new dimension to familiar architecture.

Boom in book adaptation earnings

Boom in book adaptation earnings

The value to the economy of film, television and theatre adaptations of books is soaring, according to a new report from the Publishers Association – thanks to our copyright laws.

National gets rare Gentileschi self-portrait

National gets rare Gentileschi self-portrait

A self-portrait by Artemisia Gentileschi, who broke the glass ceiling for female artists in 17thcentury Florence, has been acquired by the National Gallery for £3.6m.

Horniman Museum goes greener

Horniman Museum goes greener

The Horniman Museum in South London has ditched its café’s plastic utensils for plant-based coffee cups to sandwich wrappers in an effort to go greener https://www.horniman.ac.uk.

HERITAGE Living with Turner

The great painter’s country home has been restored to the way he knew, thanks to the research and skill of a team of master craftsmen and women. Simon Tait reports

Sandycombe Lodge has been a little-known piece of history tucked away in a south-west London suburb. It was built

by J M W Turner, the painter, to be his country home, and from it he could see Richmond Hill and the Thames. He designed it himself with the help of his friend John Soane, building it in 1813.

Now, after facing dereliction, local enthusiasts have saved it and it is now restored to the way Turner knew it and open to the public.

He spent the summers there, alone except for his old father who acted as a kind of housekeeper, and painted some of his famous river studies from there. Turner lived in the lodge until 1826 when his aged dad became too in- rm, and they moved back into central London.

The house remained in private ownership and was acquired by the historian Harold Livermore in 1947 who lovingly kept it unspoiled. He died in 2010 leaving it to the Turner’s House Trust he’d set up, but it was badly in need of restoration.

Then ve years ago the charitable foundation The Pilgrim Trust stepped in with a pragmatic use of its own lim- ited resources and a strategic £15,000 to help solve a chronic damp problem – emergency work was needed to stop the scullery ceiling collapsing - and the Turner’s House Trust launched a restoration appeal for £2m to restore Sandycombe Lodge and return it to its original appearance.

So badly had Sandycombe Lodge’s fabric deteriorated that in 2013 it was placed on Historic England’s Register of Buildings at Risk, but now, after a key Heritage Lottery Fund grant and a £2.4m year long restoration and conservation programme, the place beside Turner’s beloved Thames is back to its 1813 appearance.

Using the evidence of Turner’s own sketches and an 1814 drawing by Wil- liam Havell, additions and alterations have been removed and the original external brick fabric has been revealed.

A meticulous scrutiny of the con- struction of this Grade II* listed building revealed unexpected research into the internal fabric, wall coverings and colours.

“This little house is of worldwide importance as a work by J.M.W. Turner, England’s greatest landscape artist and, unusually, it is one in three dimensions” says Catherine Parry- Wing eld, chairman of the Turner’s House Trust who led the campaign. “We are proud that, thanks to the sup- port of our major funder the Heritage Lottery Fund, other foundations and local supporters, we have been able to conserve Sandycombe Lodge for the bene t, enjoyment and education of future generations.

”We are also immensely grateful to the previous owner, Professor Har- old Livermore who left the house to the Trust so that it could be appreci- ated by generations to come.”

Some fascinating objects were found within the wall space of the rst oor corridor, including frag- ments of children’s drawings and toys from a later period than Turner’s occupation, but most interesting was a scrap of early wallpaper, incomplete and very dirty, but suf cient to be con rmed as of the period of Turner. Based on this scrap, hand blocked wallpaper has been hung in the large bedroom, meticulously recreated by Robert Weston.

Paint historian Helen Hughes’s detailed analysis of many layers of paint and paper has determined the dining room’s original wall colouring and the delicate painted marbling of the vestibule, corridor and staircase. Where paint colours were not retriev- able appropriate early 19th century shades have been chosen.

Conservation on the laylight above the stairs was expertly carried out by Holy Well Glass and, with its coloured glass now in full glory, is unrecognisable from the dirty glass across which squirrels used to scamper.

There are new features to help ex- plain the house, hidden inside older features. The longcase clock in the dining room uses digital technology to provide a soundscape of chatter among the friends known to visit Turner for shing and picnics. A telescope recreates the view that Turner would have seen from his bedroom window. A view from the Little Parlour window superimposed on the window gives the rural view that Turner would have gazed out upon.

Following conservation, a number of prints after Turner’s paintings have been hung, including a number from his celebrated Liber Studiorum series. Many of these come from the late Pro- fessor Livermore’s collection, which he left to Turner’s House Trust as part of his bequest; others come from a subsequent generous donation.

Early 19th century furniture has been bought, following hints in the inventory of Turner’s London house after his death in 1851. Turner owned ship models, and two splendid examples made by Kelvin Thatcher are now in place in the sitting room where he had them. In Turner’s inventory a "quantity of old chintz" is listed. With expert help from Annabel Westman and craftsmanship from Ian Block, red moreen curtains hang in the dining room. Glazed cotton cur- tains for the bedroom are of the same fabric used on the hangings of the bed, with its handsome mahogany Regency bedposts.

Landscaping is now underway in the garden and will be completed in September, giving a avour of the garden that Turner and his father might have enjoyed.

“We are delighted that Turner’s country villa, Sandycombe Lodge, has opened to the public, beautifully restored” says Alex Farquharson, director Tate Britain. “Turner’s paintings and drawings housed at Tate Britain show what this great artist produced throughout his proli c life- time, but the lodge will reveal a more intimate and domestic side of his im- portant and complex story.”

features of Turner’s architectural vision, says Gary Butler of Butler Hegarty Architects, the appointed conservation architect. “As our ‘creative demolition’ work progressed we revealed clear evidence of the earlier form of the building. Scars in the brickwork illustrated the location and pitch of lower roofs. Varying brick- work confirmed our initial suspicion of later changes and structural addition” he said.

“But the first real surprise occurred once we took down the ceiling of the rooms in the raised wings, revealing the original flank walls of the main block of the house, which had remained hidden for almost 200 years.”

Instead of finding render or stucco, the brick-facing walls had been neither rendered nor painted, and he later found the same type of work behind the plaster finish of the upper rooms and wings. “In addition, the uncovered brickwork was consistently multi- coloured, with a predominant deep plum-coloured brick, more typical of late 18th century brickwork and similar to bricks used by Turner’s friend Sir John Soane for numerous projects and the courtyard of his own house, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields” he added.

As well as the surprising exterior ‘reveal’, the internal features have been fully restored, following intensive research into the internal fabric, wall coverings and colours.

“This little house is of worldwide importance as a work by J.M.W. Turner, England’s greatest landscape artist and, unusually, it is one in three dimensions” says Catherine Parry-Wingfield, chairman of the Turner’s House Trust who led the campaign. “We are proud that, thanks to the support of our major funder the Heritage Lottery Fund, other foundations and local supporters, we have been able to conserve Sandycombe Lodge for the benefit, enjoyment and education of future generations.

”We are also immensely grateful to the previous owner, Professor Harold Livermore who left the house to the Trust so that it could be appreciated by generations to come.”

Some fascinating objects were found within the wall space of the first floor corridor, including fragments of children’s drawings and toys from a later period than Turner’s occupation, but most interesting was a scrap of early wallpaper, incomplete and very dirty, but sufficient to be confirmed as of the period of Turner. Based on this scrap, hand blocked wallpaper has been hung in the large bedroom, meticulously recreated by Robert Weston.

Paint historian Helen Hughes’s detailed analysis of many layers of paint and paper has determined the dining room’s original wall colouring and the delicate painted marbling of the vestibule, corridor and staircase. Where paint colours were not retrievable appropriate early 19th century shades have been chosen.

Conservation on the skylight above the stairs was expertly carried out by Holy Well Glass and, with its coloured glass now in full glory, is unrecognisable from the dirty glass across which squirrels used to scamper.

There are new features to help ex- plain the house, hidden inside older features. The longcase clock in the dining room uses digital technology to provide a soundscape of chatter among the friends known to visit Turner for fishing and picnics. Turner liked to gaze at the view from his bedroom window through a telescope, and there is one in position once more. A view from the Little Parlour window superimposed on the window gives the rural view that Turner would have gazed out upon.

Following conservation, a number of prints after Turner’s paintings have been hung, including a number from his celebrated Liber Studiorum series. Many of these come from the late Professor Livermore’s collection, which he left to Turner’s House Trust as part of his bequest; others come from a subsequent generous donation.

Early 19th century furniture has been bought, following hints in the inventory of Turner’s London house after his death in 1851. Turner owned ship models, and two splendid examples made by Kelvin Thatcher are now in place in the sitting room where he had them. In Turner’s inventory a ‘quantity of old chintz’ is listed. With expert help from Annabel Westman and craftsmanship from Ian Block, red moreen curtains hang in the dining room. Glazed cotton curtains for the bedroom are of the same fabric used on the hangings of the bed, with its handsome mahogany Regency bedposts.

Landscaping is now underway in the garden and will be completed in September, giving a flavour of the garden that Turner and his father might have enjoyed.

“We are delighted that Turner’s country villa, Sandycombe Lodge, has opened to the public, beautifully restored” says Alex Farquharson, director Tate Britain. “Turner’s paintings and drawings housed at Tate Britain show what this great artist produced throughout his prolific life- time, but the lodge will reveal a more intimate and domestic side of his important and complex story.”

 

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