Chiswick pictures exhibition extended

Exhibition of rarely seen Chiswick paintings, drawings and watercolours


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Historic Print of William's Terrace in 1837

Strand on the Green by Henry George Webb

Chiswick Pictures - Chiswick Riverside from Harrison's History of London

The exhibition of Chiswick pictures at Hogarth's House has been so successful that the organisers have decided to extend its run until the end of the year. Chiswick's Pictures exhibition continues until 31 December (closed Mondays and 25, 26 Dec), opening hours 1-4 Tues-Fri, Sat, Sun 1-5pm.

Over 60 prints, paintings, drawings and watercolours, the oldest published around 1700 and the most recent from 1988, are now on show. The choice of title is deliberate, since all the pictures show parts of Chiswick, some are by Chiswick artists and all belong to the local authority and are usually stored at Chiswick Library. Apart from a small group which have been shown at Boston Manor House in Brentford since the mid 1990s, very few have been exhibited since they were acquired.

The exhibition was researched by members of the Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society, working at first from photocopies and photographs of the originals. The team included Libby Gilliver, Ruby Harvey, Lorna and Gary Leach, Diana Reeves and David Shavreen. They identified the locations in the images, looked at how the artists may have changed the landscape to suit their picture, and also investigated the artists themselves. The pictures selected are an extraordinary mixture but have been grouped by location so that the viewer can compare them and see the way the place has changed. The labels provide the key information found by the research team and offer connections between pictures wherever they can.

Engraved for Harrison’s History of London, mid 18th century

The exhibition gallery is relatively small and the pictures have been hung three deep, with small unframed items in showcases. The gallery has been trans-formed with a new colour scheme and a new layout which makes it feel more spacious. It was packed at the preview, where William Bowyer, RA, for 50 years a Chiswick resident and an ardent painter of the Chiswick Mall area, performed the opening ceremony. He was pleased to find a painting by his old friend and neighbour, Fred Heyworth, but also impressed by the variety and range of the pictures on show. He commented upon the way each encapsulates a moment in time - a particular date, a season or a time of day.

Val Bott, who co-ordinated the exhibition for the Local History Society, said that she hoped visitors would get as much fun out of the show as the researchers had in collecting the information. She paid tribute to the amount of work they had put in and particularly thanked Chrissy Blake, a fellow trustee of the William Hogarth Trust, who helped with the redecoration and garden improvements.

Admission to the House and the exhibition is free. The exhibition is accompanied by an information sheet of the same title, priced £2, which is on sale at the House and will soon also be on sale at Chiswick Library. All of the information obtained, of which only a fraction could be included in the exhibition, will be collected together to provide a history file for each image and deposited at the Local Studies Library for others to use in future.

The project was supported by a lottery grant from the Awards for All Scheme.

November 13, 2003

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