John Sell Cotman and John Crome: Material Sensibilities
A Talk by Rose Miller
Wednesday 9th July 2014
Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queens’ Square, London, WC1N 3AT
Doors 6.30, AGM 7.00pm, talk at 7.30pm
Nearest tube: Russell Square
Research has shown that these masters of British landscape had a particular understanding
of their painting materials and methods. Cotman and Crome’s common use of coarse
or recycled materials often resulted in paintings that show a disregard for the decorum
of surface, but their paintings are not simply the result of poverty and homemade
brushes (as previously perceived). They were skilfully manipulating their materials,
and with them, exploring their material surroundings — their landscape.
This talk will explore two phenomena: the presence of drying cracks in the oil paintings
of Cotman, and the visual effect of open weave canvas in those by Crome. It will
suggest that what could be read as drying problems should in some cases be seen as
drying effects, and what might appear to be varnish residues caught in the troughs
of the canvas is an intentional visual device.
Rose Miller studied conservation of easel paintings at the Courtauld (2005–08) before
an internship at the Hamilton Kerr Institute (2009–11). This talk results from research
that started as her Courtauld student project, and was further pursued in a curatorial
research project (2011–13), funded by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British
Art, based at the Hamilton Kerr Institute and in collaboration with Norwich Castle
Museum and Art Gallery. She now works in private studios in London.
Entry is free of charge to members of the BAPCR, and £10 for non-members. Wine and
soft drinks will be available to purchase before and after the talk. It will be possible
to join the BAPCR at the door. Benefits include free entrance to BAPCR talks and
discounted entry to BAPCR conferences and workshops, plus our excellent journal The
Picture Restorer twice yearly.
Please email Gemma Collins our secretary at BAPCRsecretary@gmail.com if you know
you will be attending the talk, so that we can ensure enough wine and soft drinks.
The British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers works hard to promote
and foster the practice of paintings conservation in the UK and around the world.
We are the professional organization for conservator-restorers of paintings, and
have members internationally.
Membership is restricted to practising restorers, conservation scientists, students
on recognized training courses and trainees in private studios. More experienced
restorer members can have applied for Fellowship, our professional qualification.
Fellows would be expected to have an advanced level of competence, as well as suitable
premises, sound business practice and general immersion in the field. A representative
cross-section of their work was also inspected by examiners appointed by the Council
of the BAPCR.
The BAPCR administers a scheme for public enquirers, to direct them to existing Fellows
in their area (see ‘Find a Restorer’). They can then be confident that their artworks
are in the hands of an accredited practitioner. Members receive our twice-yearly
journal, the Picture Restorer, now in its twenty-second year of publication, and
attend regular meetings with a guest speaker at the Art Workers Guild in Central