It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Watercolour -

Our 2011 Arts and Archives tour had the possibility to view the excellent exhibit on Watercolor at Tate Britain in London. This exhibit explores the art of watercolor, which as a art medium has always been considered a distinctive part of British cultural heritage, from the medieval illuminated manuscripts, maps, early botanical art and natural science illustrations to examples from the contemporary British watercolor art.
Typically art connected to the scientific naturalism has been absent from the art historical discussions. It was traditionally considered somewhere in between science and art and claimed to be practiced by copyists who were more utilitarian workers for the taxonomic classification and identification than artists. This exhibit displays some of the greatest botanical illustrators in the history, such as  Dionysos Ehret, Franz Bauer and Sydney Parkinson from the 18th century, Arthur Henry Church and Margaret Mee from the early 20th century in addition to the contemporary botanical illustrators from the 21st century.   
The comprehensive exhibition catalog is finally available in the US.  It has a wealth of information about this traditional medium and casts a new light on an outstanding British artistic tradition. The 208-page catalog edited by Alison Smith includes the following chapters:
1. Introduction by Alison Smith
2. Water + Colour: exploring the medium by Nicola Moorby
3. Watercolour: Practice to profession by David Baley Brown
4. Intimate Knowledge by Anna Austen
5. The Natural World by Tabitha Barber
6. Travel and Topography by Matthew Imms
7. The Exhibition Watercolou by David Baley Brown
8. Watercolour and War by Allison Smith
9. Inner Vision by Philippa Simpson
10. Watercolour Today by Katharine Stout
11. Abstraction and Improvisation by Nicola Moorby and Katharine Stout
Bean painting by Rachel Pedder-Smith - specimens from the Leguminosae family

Watercolour, February 16 - August 21, 2011
Tate Britain, London U.K.

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