Windermere, 1821. J.M.W.Turner
On display at Abbot Hall Art Gallery, as part of their permanent collection, is a painting by the English Romantic landscape painter J.M.W Turner. The painting dates to 1821 and is entitled Windermere. The painting is of pencil and watercolour on paper and is one of numerous Lake District scenes depicted by some of Britain’s greatest landscape artists during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
In the White Drawing Room at Blackwell Arts & Crafts House is a bureau designed by the British architect MH Baillie Scott. Dating to c1901, the bureau is made of oak inlaid with boxwood, ebony, holly and pewter. This piece of furniture was manufactured at the Pyghtle Works in Bedford and was priced at £8 8 shillings with the option to purchase in a more economical form with the omission of the inlaid work and use of painted pine instead of oak or mahogany.
On display in York Castle Museum, as part of The Sixties exhibition, is a stunning example of a classic motor scooter. The Lambretta scooter became an iconic symbol of the youth culture known as the Mods. Manufactured in Milan, the name derives from the river Lambro which ran close to the production factory. First produced in 1947, the Lambretta was revolutionary in its design having three or four gears, engines ranging from 49cc – 198cc and having the engine mounted directly over the rear wheel. Such Italian scooters were the preferred choice of the Mods and were seen as an affordable and practical fashion accessory.
Situated along the River Kent stands Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Museum. Constructed of coursed squared rubble, the Hall was built in 1759 for Colonel George Wilson with the design of the building attributed to the English architect John Carr.
The two storey building was occupied by Colonel Wilson and his wife, Anne Sybile Harrison of Lancaster, from the year of Abbot Hall’s completion in 1762 until the property was sold in 1772. The regular flooding of the Kent meant considerable inconvenience for the inhabitants of the Hall and although the house itself was grand, there was little land to provide sufficient revenue for the running costs.
The ground floor features corniced fireplaces with Baroque foliate decoration and decorative plaster frames to the walls.
Abbot Hall was acquired by Kendal Borough Council in 1897 with the aim of turning the grounds into a public park to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. In the following decades, the Hall sat deteriorating and faced with the threat of demolition in the early 1950’s, locals banded together in 1952 to save the building. Following appeals to the community for funds, Abbot Hall was restored and converted into an Art Gallery which opened to the public in September 1962.
Now managed by the Lakeland Arts Trust, Abbot Hall is Grade I Listed.
Located in Carlisle Cathedral is a monument to Bishop Harvey Goodwin. Born in 1818, Harvey was consecrated as the 58th Bishop of Carlisle in November 1869. A Cambridge academic, Harvey remained Bishop of Carlisle until his death in 1891. The monument consists of a bronze effigy of the Bishop with angels at the head and mitres at the feet. The monument is the work of the British Victorian sculptor Sir Hamo Thornycroft who studied at the Royal Academy. His work was influenced by his travels to Italy and France with an admiration of the Renaissance master sculptors. The sculpted bronze figure lies underneath an oak canopy decorated with a bronze inscription and coat of arms.
Aulus Vitellius was a Roman Emperor who reigned for eight months in 69AD. Vitellius is described by the writer Seutonius as “unusually tall with an alcoholic flush. A huge paunch and a somewhat crippled thigh from being run into by a four-horse chariot.” The bust of Vitellius is on display in Abbot Hall Art Gallery and is believed to be the work of the Victorian architectural sculptor Thomas Duckett. The principle sculptor at local building firm Websters of Kendal, Duckett created a number of works from his studio in Preston. The bust is sculpted from marble and granite depicting the Emperor wearing a military robe and dates to c1850.
In the aisle to the north of the chancel in Kirkby Stephen Parish Church is the monument to Thomas, 1st Lord of Wharton. Born in 1501, Lord Wharton was created Baron in 1544 by King Henry VIII following his success during warfare with the Scots on the battlefield at Solway Moss. He founded Kirkby Stephen Grammar School in 1566 and died in the Yorkshire Dales in 1568.
The monument effigies depict Thomas with his first wife Eleanor Stapleton and his second wife Anne Talbot.
The carved alabaster tomb chest features a latin inscription that runs around the top of the tomb. Latin epitaphs celebrate the two marriages of Lord Wharton and his four children. The tomb itself is empty as Lord Wharton is buried at his estate in Yorkshire.
Opposite the south door of the Church of St Stephen sits a sculpted figure from Norse mythology. The figure depicted is the trickster god Loki Laufeyjarson who was the son of the giants Fárbauti and Laufey. The stone was discovered amongst ancient gravestones at the far end of the church but was subsequently moved inside the building. Dating to the 8th century, the carved figure of Loki is shown to be bound and chained with the stone being one of few physical remains from the time when Vikings had settled in the area. The stone is unique in Britain and is one of only two known carvings of its type in Europe.
On display in the Rheged Centre, as part of The Art of Remembering exhibition, was a collection of work entitled Memory Vessels. The ceramics and meticulously constructed model ships are the work of the artist Mark Gibbs.
To create the ceramics, Mark used a western variation of an ancient Japanese technique called Raku. Removing the pot from the kiln whilst still at an incredibly high temperature, it is then placed into a reduction chamber – which is normally a metal tin filled with combustible materials such as sawdust or straw – which creates a blackened carbonised look on the surface of the ceramic.
Summer of 1914, mixed media
The intricately detailed battleships are modelled on real vessels with the largest being H.M.S. Dreadnought. This revolutionary craft changed the face of naval warfare instantly casting existing ships into obsolescence.
The visual imagery of smoke and fire with the scorched surface of the finished pot is designed to stir images of the violent explosions during battles at sea.
Convoy 1, mixed materials
The ceramic pieces feature designs inspired by Dazzle Camouflage which is a striking geometric pattern used on ships during the First World War.
Located in the presbytery aisle in Carlisle Cathedral is the monument to Samuel Waldegrave. Born in 1817, Samuel became Bishop of Carlisle in 1860 – a post which he held until his death in 1869. The monument was raised from public subscription in 1872 and details the sculpted figure of the bishop wearing a robe and holding a bible in his left hand.