April 2014 marks the centenary of the artist Edward Robert Hughes (1851-1914), who painted perhaps the most popular watercolour in our collection: Night with her Train of Stars (1912).
Hughes was a close associate of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. He was the nephew of the painter Arthur Hughes, modelled for Rossetti, and worked for many years as the studio assistant of William Holman Hunt. However, although Hughes also made a successful career as an artist in his own right, he is still little known.
At Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, research over the past 7 years has been uncovering new information about Hughes’s life and career and tracing paintings, drawings and watercolours by him in public and private collections in the UK and overseas. We’re now planning a major exhibition of his work – the first in the 100 years since his death – which will open at BMAG in October 2015.
Hughes died suddenly on 23 April 1914 in St Albans and is buried in Hatfield Road Cemetery. His funeral in St Albans Cathedral was the largest ever held there, attended by his many friends, fellow artists, and pupils from his life-drawing class in London.
The 100th anniversary of Hughes’s death, 23 April 2014, was marked with a special lecture in St Albans Town Hall followed by an evening reception in his honour – a very happy occasion.
A special display celebrating Hughes’s life and work can be seen in the North Transept of St Albans Cathedral until Tuesday 6 May.
Curator (Fine Art)
We are really pleased to welcome back one of the most famous and popular paintings at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Ford Madox Brown’s The Last of England, after a triumphant showing at Tate Britain.
Our technicians installing The Last of England in the gallery.
For the full press release visit the BMAG website.
Victoria Osborne talks about the Alexander Munro sculpture inspired by the tragic story of Paolo and Francesca.
Francesca, engaged to be married against her will, falls in love with her fiance’s younger brother Paola. When this is discovered, they are murdered. The sculpture shows the moment when, reading of the love of Lancelot for Guinevere, they are drawn to their first kiss.
This video is subtitled. Start the video and click on the CC at the bottom of the video to bring up the subtitles (also known as Closed Captions).
The Blind Girl was painted by John Everett Millais and completed in 1856. It was acquired by City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 1892. The popularity of this painting is reflected by the many exhibitions it has appeared in all around the world. This map follows most, although not all, of the places it has been. Total distance recorded on the map: 49,690 miles (79.968 km) – but actually much more as I haven’t included all the trips back to Birmingham!
The Blind Girl can usually be found in the Pre-Raphaelite Galleries at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (home!).
The Blind Girl by John Everett Millais.
Curator Victoria Osborne talks about The Long Engagement by Arthur Hughes. Hughes exhibited this painting in 1859 with a quotation from Chaucer’s ‘Troilus and Criseyde’:
Examine the detail online: http://www.preraphaelites.org/the-collection/1902P13/the-long-engagement/
Curator Victoria Osborne talks about Portrait of Dante Gabriel Rossetti at 24 years of Age by William Holman Hunt. This painting of a romantic young Rossetti was painted shortly after his death in 1882.
View the zoomable image on the Pre-Raphaelite Online Resource.
Our technicians have been making changes in the Pre-Raphaelite galleries: Arthur Hughes’s The Long Engagement and John Everett Millais’s The Proscribed Royalist are both back on display after touring to Sydney with BMAG’s Pre-Raphaelite exhibition The Poetry of Drawing.