Steam & Sail: two warships by W.Smith.
Illustrated in James Ayres Book
English Naive Art 1700 – 1900
Our online Exhibition of British Folk Art begins 12th June. It is scheduled to coincide with Tate Britain’s retrospective on the subject which is now less than a month away.
I believe that Tate Britain’s exhibition is possibly more encompassing in it’s scope than perhaps that of the average Antique dealer who specializes in the subject, but of course the museum have the liberty to exhibit things of any period.
I understand they will be exhibiting embroidery by Mary Linwood plus work by the esteemed Cornish naive artist Alfred Wallis and a thatched figure of King Alfred by the wonderfully named Jesse Maycock. There will also be maritime embroidery by the fisherman John Craske and a patchwork quilt by Jane Williams.
While on the subject I am hoping to see Elizabeth Allen’s collage of various materials entitled ‘Population Explosion’ which shows a mother in a maternity ward in a long bed with her seven newly borns lined up down the side of the bed. To all intense and purposes this is a highly amusing masterpiece although in reality alas tells a very sad tale of a woman who had taken a fertility drug.
Interestingly the artist Elizabeth Allen was the daughter of a tailor who busied herself collected various off cuts and scraps to make her art work. There is also an early nineteenth century echo of this behaviour in the work of George Smart the tailor of Frant who also didn’t like to see good materials go to waste and produced some absolutely timeless collage images including most famously ‘The Goose Woman’ who often found herself in the company of ‘Old Bright The Postman.’ His other most famous offering was ‘The Earth Stopper’ depicting the story of a man who had been commissioned to fill up fox-holes and late one evening had a scary encounter with what he believed was the devil!
Additionally to what I have mentioned already Tate Britain’s Exhibition will also include Ship’s Figureheads and painted trade signs which were not only costly but obligatory in London in the 18th century. Toby Jugs will also be on display along with an intricate sculpture of a Cockerel made out of mutton bones during the Napoleonic wars by french prisoners of war.
FOLK ART MAKERS: Weekend at Tate Britain
This particular weekend is designed for youngsters who want to take the hands on approach it will include an embroidery workshop : Message on a hanky : A knife carving workshop : Make a spatula : A collage workshop : Make a Home Sweet Home sampler : And finally there is to be sign painting workshop :
Folk Art in British museums – basically is dispersed.
Having said that I never go into provincial museum however small without finding something interesting [ that would fit into the folk art genre ] so it is always worth finding the time to have a look.
Here follows a list of museums that have permanant collections
Compton Verney (Warwickshire)
The Beamish Museum (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne)
Welsh Folk Museum (Cardiff)
Kettle’s Yard (Cambridge)
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (Treen Collection)