The role of trees in British landscape painting, 1760-1870
The exhibition at the Higgins Bedford is nearly installed now, ready for the private view this Thursday (it opens to the public on September 30th). My co-curator Victoria Partridge had the brilliant idea of using dark brown walls and internal free-standing walls to make visitors feel that they are actually walking through a shady wood. The display really shows off the beautiful wooden floor and benches, too.
For the last five years, I have been engaged in research for a book on trees in British art, asking questions, such as: how does the interest in trees develop, how do ideas change over the 18th and 19th centuries? I've been looking at drawing manuals, illustrated books on trees, oil paintings, watercolours and prints, landscape gardening, poetry, artists' writings. The artists I'm particularly interested in include the following: Paul Sandby, Thomas Hearne, John Constable, Samuel Palmer, James Ward, John Martin, Edward Lear, Francis Danby, Jacob George Strutt and Henry William Burgess.