Saturday, November 17, 2007

Russell-Cotes Museum Showcases Victorian drawings

Tony Jian, Bournemouth, 18 Oct 2007

Victorian drawings by Frederic Lord Leighton have just been showcased on October 16 in Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, one of the last Victorian buildings ever built in Bournemouth.

Russell-Cotes museum exhibits in six sections the works of Leighton, the President of Royal Academy for almost two decades, from the drawings he made as a student to the final works in his life.

The museum has also collaborated with Text + Work, the gallery at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth to create Meeting Place, a contemporary artwork exhibition inspired by the time, space, and displays inside the museum.

Peter Harvey is a member of staff at the service counter and has been working in the museum for 15 years. "We try to bring in different types of art as much as we can," says Mr Harvey. "The museum is like a book needs to be written."

The museum has invited many local artists, Abi Kremer for example, to display their works. It is a Grade 2 listed building steeped in history and yet full of energy and dynamics, made lively by the dialogue between contemporary artists with a wide repertoire of collections, from Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Tibetan, to Middle East, just to name a few.

"It is a cosmopolitan place," Mr Harvey comments.

It is also a "meeting place" where East meets West, and modernity juxtaposes with antiquity. It is a venue where artists can unleash their creativity, the public can engage in an intellectual discourse and children can have fun.

"Once I saw a kid forced in the door by his parents but ended up holding to the door without wanting to leave," reminisces Mr Harvey.

One of the museum's missions is to "increase audience for the arts and participation in arts activities, with particular reference to young people" and to "make arts activities accessible to everyone."

To accomplish the above mission, the museum has launched a series of activities for all age groups. Contact Marion Cavanagh Learning Officer for further information.

(article and picture by Tony Jian)

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