Wednesday 31 July 2013

Best Exhibition Award for Kettering for the third year in a row

Great news as Kettering Museum and Gallery proudly pose with the 2013 NMHH Best Exhibition award for American Arrivals at the Manor House Museum.   What a great exhibition it was and I enjoyed the accompanying talk on Grafton Underwood and the story of the Bombing Group.

What price the hugely popular High School exhibition as front runner next time, I wonder?

In the mean time, we hope to see you today/this evening at the Gallery for the Centenary Opening (details)

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Pictorial 2013 Centenary News

Paul Johnson sends us this mid year pictorial summary ... of the impressive range of events so far and of highlights still to come ...

and ...

(From Dudley Art Gallery's exhibition of their collection of 13 works, May/June 2013)

On now and to Come

In Kettering ...

1st August - 28th September - Alfred East Gallery, Kettering ... the Centenary Exhibition

Alfred East 100 years ... 10th July - 24th August ... Northampton Museum and Art Gallery ... "showcasing a small selection of his romantic landscape paintings from the museum's permanent collection" - 8 works now on show less than 15 miles from Kettering

RA Diploma work on display in the entrance hall of Burlington House, Piccadilly, from 28th August

14-15 September Journees du Patrimoine - Exhibition of copies of paintings of Aix Les Bains, Savoy, by Alfred East, in the Hotel Splendido, where he stayed on his visits to the town.

19th September .. Friends of KAGAM  evening talk by Kenneth McConkey (Prefoessor Emeritus, Northumbria)

20th September ... Lunchtime lecture Kettering Alfred East Gallery - Kenneth McConkey

20th September from 7:00pm Centenary Dinner in Kettering organised by the Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Museum and KDAS inspired by the 1910 civic banquet that celebrated Alfred East's knighthood.

6th November - talk by Kenneth McConkey to Stowe Civic Society on Alfred East at Upper Swell in the Cotswolds

Articles on Alfred east will appear in Country Life (Sept - Cotswolds edition) and the British Art Journal (autumn).

Many thanks to Paul Johnson for this contribution

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Alfred East Gallery Centenary timetable

Many thanks to Katie for sending me an updated timetable for the centenary events on the 31st ..

The Alfred East Gallery will be celebrating 100 years since it first opened in 1913.   As part of the celebrations the Gallery is recreating the original exhibition and a re-opening ceremony will take place in the Manor House Gardens on 31st July at 2:30pm declared by the ringing of the Church bells to mark the actual anniversary.   The running order on the day will be as follows ...

12:30 to 2pm - lunchtime talk by Geoff Hales - Alfred East: Lyrical Landscape Painter - Tickets cost £3.50 for concessions or £5.00 ... Tickets are bookable by calling 01536 534274 (tickets are selling FAST!!)

2pm - Sea Cadets will march and play in the Gardens

2:30 - Bells announce the 100 years

3pm - Speeches

3:30 - Cutting of the ribbon by Lord Lieutenant Lady Juliet Townsend

There are refreshments and a String Trio will play during the day and into the evening

6pm to 8pm - Evening Reception

If you would like to attend please email 

Sounds like a great day with something for everyone.   Members of the Friends will be on hand during the day should you want to find out more about our activities.    Do come by ...

Landscapes of the Imagination - John Roger Hatton and Brenda McKetty at Oakapple Art Studios

Oakapple Art Studios, July 2013 (closes 14/7)

Apologies to Roger and Brenda for not managing to drop by and add a note about this exhibition until it was closing.  Both artists exhibit regularly locally, so readers will have plenty of opportunities to view their work at other venues (icluding the Open Studios auction at Oakapple this weekend) ...

I really enjoyed the colourful combination of the two artists and their different approaches to the art of landscape.

(Landscapes of the imagination ... exhibitors Brenda McKetty and John Roger Hatton in conversation with a visitor)

Saturday 13 July 2013

Battle Anniversary Pictures

It was nice to see a few Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Museum amongst the small gathering of heritage enthusiasts for the anniversary of the 1460 battle of Northampton.

Members of the Medieval Siege Society attended in period costume to lay red and white roses in honour of the fallen, then happily posed for a variety of publicity shots and for visitors.

Local battlefield historian Mike Ingram gave a potted account of the battle from golf course side of the monument (from which vantage point the papal legate Francesco Coppini watched and recorded the events) ...

(members of the Friends gathered on the fringe of the golf course listening to the narrative) 

This is the view they enjoyed.   Coppini's account would mean the battle took place between this elevation and Delapre abbey (in the middle background) ...

(a view of the battlefield from the Eleanor Cross today)

(a similar view as it may have been in 1460, in a new reconstruction by artist Matthew Ryan)

The event benefited from a degree of national new coverage (BBC News) which may well prove important as Northamptonshire's diverse heritage seems very much under pressure these days.   Kettering Art News will keep you posted.

Thanks to Northampton Battlefield Society for inviting us along.

Thanks to Matthew Ryan for permission to include his painting of the battlefield (Matthew Ryan Historical Illustrator)

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Northampton Battlefield Visit 2013

The Northampton Battlefield Society and Medieval Siege Society are hosting an anniversary visit and walk on the evening of 10th July.  Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Museum are welcome to attend.

The MSS will be wearing 15th Century costume and will lay a wreath at the Eleanor Cross, and there will be a guided walk on the battlefield (which we can now assume lies between the cross and Delapre Abbey)

Meet at the Delapre Abbey car parking at 6:30 
(contact me by commenting or via the Friends if you need further information - if we know you are coming we can make sure we don't move off without you).   

(the Battle of Northampton reconstructed by Simon Chick)

A collection will be made on behalf of the Battlefields Trust

Dr Roy Hargrave on John Alfred Gotch - Alfred East Gallery 20/06/2013

June's Friends talk was on the centenary message, with Dr Roy Hargrave introducing us to the career of John Alfred Gotch ... architect, architectural historian and, in the '20s, President of RIBA.

It is a mark of his status that he was the first provincial architect to be made President of the Royal Association.   His extensive oeuvre, of course, includes the Alfred East Gallery which is 100 years old this month.

(an early image of the Alfred East Art Gallery which I have restored from a damaged postcard)

The plaza was established, more or less, as we know it now when the war memorial, also by J. A. Gotch, was added in 1921 - one of numerous memorials designed by Gotch's practice.

Gotch was responsible for the greater proportion of Kettering's period monumental architecture, domestic and civic, industrial and institutional, and is often referred to as the man who built Kettering.

As his architectural career flourished, Gotch also wrote and illustrated profusely on the topic of architecture and guides to building heritage.   Dr Hargrave layered his talk with a wide range of illustrations from Gotch's books and brought along an extensive collection for us to browse.

I found this a fascinating insight into the man who contributed so much to the physical appearance of the town we know today.

(the gallery and war memorial in our time:  an iconic backdrop to the Olympic Torch's visit to Kettering)

Addendum ...

Many of you will know of our connections to the Naseby Battlefield project ... and it is, perhaps, no surprise that in following up Dr Hargrave's talk, I see Pevsner's entry on the Cromwell memorial at Naseby:

BATTLEFIELD MEMORIAL.  A column with a ball finial.  1936 by J. A. Gotch.

Having attended the talk, the connections are obvious.

(Naseby Battlefield: the Cromwell memorial by John Alfred Gotch)