Spencer Gore’s ‘Applehayes’ on kind loan from the Ulster Museum

An exhibition of works by the Camden Town Group opens at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton on Saturday 25 March. ‘A Fragile Beauty: Art on the Blackdown Hills 1909 to 1925’ captures the beauty of this Somerset and Devon borderland in a period when the First World War was changing English society forever.

The Camden Town Group, led by Walter Sickert, was named after the London district where many of the artists lived and worked. Initially they painted contemporary urban life, but later they were drawn to the countryside, especially the Blackdown Hills.

Inspired by the example of the impressionists and post-impressionists, artists such as Spencer Gore, Charles Ginner and Robert Bevan created Somerset and Devon landscape paintings of great freshness and immediacy.

‘A Fragile Beauty’ is the first major exhibition at the Museum of Somerset to rely entirely on loans from other museums and from private collectors. Loans include Spencer Gore’s ‘Applehayes’ from the Ulster Museum, and Charles Ginner’s ‘Landscape with Farmhouse’ from Manchester Art Gallery. The exhibition also includes works from private collections that have rarely been seen in public.

The museum has worked with the fine art auctioneers, Lawrences of Crewkerne, who, together with private donors, and the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) have very generously sponsored and supported the exhibition.

A varied public programme of associated events is being delivered, including opportunities to enjoy the specially protected landscape of Blackdown Hills AONB as it is today.

‘A Fragile Beauty’ has been created in partnership with the Somerset-based curators and art historians Denys Wilcox and Richard Emeny. The exhibition runs from 25 March to 8 July and is free of charge.

For more information www.museumofsomerset.org.uk/camden-town/

Published on February 21, 2017 // South West Heritage Trust