Kenneth Clark: Looking for Civilisation

by charlestonattic

‘Kenneth Clark: Looking for Civilisation’, an exhibition currently on show at the Tate Britain, explores Clark’s multifarious roles as a patron, collector, art historian, public servant and broadcaster. Clark supported and promoted contemporary British artists, and amongst the artists he favoured were Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. An exhibition text panel draws attention to the friendship between the artists and their patron, noting how in his memoirs Clark described Bell and Grant as ‘the first of our artist friends’.

Works on display in order of appearance:

Duncan Grant Study for a Portrait of Lady Clark c.1932. Pencil on paper 61 x 53cm. Private Collection

Vanessa Bell Design for a plate: Queen Christina of Sweden 1932. Pencil and watercolour on paper 58 x 56.5cm. Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Vanessa Bell Mme la Marquise de Caux, Adelina Patti 1932. set Ceramic 25.5 x 25.5 x 2cm. The Charleston Trust (see image below)

Vanessa Bell S.A.I. La Princess Mathilda 1932. Plate from ‘Famous Ladies’ set. Ceramic 25.5 x 25.5 x 2cm. The Charleston Trust

Vanessa Bell Queen Mary 1932. Plate from ‘Famous Ladies’ set. Ceramic 25.5 x 25.5 x 2cm. The Charleston Trust

Duncan Grant Design for Plate: Virginia Woolf c.1932. Pencil, ink, wash on paper 42.7 x 39cm. Private Collection

Duncan Grant Design for Plate: Sarah Churchill c.1932. Ink and wash on paper 43 x 39cm. Private Collection

Duncan Grant Unidentified subject Plate from ‘Famous Ladies’ set c.1932. Ceramic 25.5 x 25.5 x 2cm. The Charleston Trust

Duncan Grant Four designs for plates: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, Greta Garbo and Mrs Patrick Campbell c.1932. Pencil, ink and wash on paper 58 x 56.5cm. Private Collection

Duncan Grant Rug c.1932. Wool 180 x 127cm. Private Collection

Duncan Grant Three-Fold Screen c.1930. Painted wood 133 x 190 x 2cm (each: 61cm wide). Private Collection

Duncan Grant Wedgwood creamware jug incorporating portraits of Kenneth and Jane Clark 1932. Ceramic 27 x 24.5 x 20cm. Private Collection

Duncan Grant Wedgwood creamware jug incorporating a childhood portrait of Alan Clark 1932. Ceramic 22 x 20.5 x 16cm. Private Collection

Duncan Grant Self-Portrait 1925. Oil on canvas 46 x 38cm. Private Collection

Duncan Grant After Zurbarán c.1928. Oil on canvas 62 x 15.3cm. Private Collection

Vanessa Bell Portrait of Angelica as a Russian Princess [dated 1928 in the exhibition catalogue; 1931 is the inscription on the painting]Oil on canvas 59 x 39cm. Private Collection

Vanessa Bell Self-Portrait c.1958 Oil on canvas 48.3 x 39.4 x 2cm. The Charleston Trust

Through cataloguing and researching the Angelica Garnett Gift, it has been possible to examine Bell and Grant’s working processes, and find out more about the different styles and subject matter they chose. As in the exhibition, there is evidence in the Gift of their interest in decorative work, self-portraits, and portraits of friends and family.

Image

 

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