Gallery serves up Royal show

Published in The Daily Gleaner, Wednesday June 29th, 2011

By Tara Chislett

When it comes to the Royal Family, it’s the portraits – not the written stories – that most people remember, says the chief curator at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

“It is through portraiture that our perceptions and conceptions of the kings and queens of the British monarchy have been given material form,” said Terry Graff.

“However much of their lives have been documented by text, it is through artists’ eyes that we are best able to visualize them and to understand how their contemporaries saw them,” he said.

On Thursday, the gallery will open Royal Portraits, a special exhibition in celebration of the recent marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton and their upcoming royal tour of Canada.

Bernard Riordon, gallery director and CEO, said the show will be an opportunity to share the art in the gallery’s permanent collection with the public.

“We are very pleased to collaborate with the Monarchist League of Canada, New Brunswick branch, and to offer our many visitors this spectacular presentation of the faces of the British monarchy as represented by select portraits from our permanent collection and from private and public collections,” he said.

Portraits taken from the gallery’s permanent collection will be on display until Jan. 8 and the show will include monarchs such as Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Queen Elizabeth I, King Edward VIII and other individuals associated with British nobility.

Among highlights of the exhibition, for the first time in more than 200 years, is Matthew William Peter’s 1787 painting Henry VIII, Act V, Scene IV, The Christening of Princess Elizabeth will be on display.

The painting will be at the gallery on loan from Graham Gordon, a private collector who rescued it from an uninhabited castle in Ireland in the 1970s.

The exhibition will also include contemporary portraits of the monarchy by Canadian artists.

Hardly the Royal Road

When Matthew William Peters’ painting was found in a deserted castle in Ireland more than 40 years ago, it had been slashed by vandals, damaged by the sun, worn and was covered with grime. Restored, it will soon hang in the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Salon tells the tale of how this massive miracle of a painting survived the past 231 years and ended up in Fredericton to once again be viewed in public.

Published Saturday June 25th, 2011 / Telegraph Journal / By Marty Klinkenberg

With the countryside of Ireland as his playground, Graham Gordon spent countless hours exploring abandoned castles in his youth – climbing through jagged panes and strolling past spiralling staircases into the pages of history.

“I was in places where it looked like somebody had gone out for a Sunday evening walk and never came back,” Gordon says. “A number of them were fully furnished to the bed clothes and the dining-room table was still set.

“It was a different kind of world. I didn’t realize how extraordinary it was until much later.”

The son of a collector of paintings, books and other antiquities, Gordon grew up collecting marbles and toy soldiers. He would scour the Smithfield Market in his native Belfast for bits of 35mm film for a hand-crank projector.

A venturer, he sailed across the Atlantic in 1953 to settle in North America, and became a broadcast journalist – but never let his unbridled spirit wane. Years later, in Canada, he published a successful art and antique travellers’ magazine.

“I am just a bloody Irish maverick,” Gordon says, now 77 and about to complete his biggest adventure.

In 1970, fate and opportunity brought Gordon back to Ireland, to a towering Gothic fortress in Tullamore, a market town where troops of the King’s German Legion and a regiment of British light infantry soldiers skirmished during the Napoleonic Wars.

"Henry VIII, Act V, Scene 4" being removed from Charleville Castle in 1970 after being discovered by Graham Gordon. Notice how the canvas is slashed and mahogany with grime.

It was there, in Charleville Castle, a sprawling manor where Lord Byron once hosted lavish parties, Gordon discovered one of the most important paintings in British art history: a 1789 masterpiece by Matthew William Peters portraying the christening of Princess Elizabeth as described in the last scene of the last act of William Shakespeare’s last play, Henry VIII. It is a towering moment when the future Queen of England is recognized and baptized, leading to the beginning of the Elizabethan Era and the decline of papal power in Great Britain.

Slashed by vandals, covered in dirt and damaged by the pale sunlight of 160 years, Gordon rescued the canvas on an October day more than 40 years ago, rolling it up and hauling it away from the castle on the back of a farmer’s tractor.

“It was quite simple, really,” Gordon says. “The painting was very amenable to getting the hell out of there. It couldn’t have been easier.”

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My World: Art by New Brunswick’s Young Artists / Mon monde à moi: Creations de jeunes artistes du Nouveau-Brunswick

Express yourself and send us your art!

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is organizing an exhibition of children and youth art:

My World: Art by New Brunswick’s Young Artists

If selected, your artwork will be showing at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton between Oct. 2, 2011 and Jan. 8, 2012!

Starting in May 2011 send us your best creation on the theme:  My World

Submission Deadline is July 15th, 2011, so there is a limited time to create your masterpiece!

As long as it is a:
•    painting (any medium)
•    drawing (any medium).
•    print (all types)
•    art work smaller than  46 cm x 61cm  (18” x  24”)
•    each young artist may enter one  work.

For New Brunswick residents under the age of nineteen as of Oct. 1, 2011.  Entry forms available at the Gallery, by calling 458-2031, or by visiting the website:
This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of the
Province of New Brunswick and by John Betts, MLA for Moncton Crescent

Envoyez-nous vos créations artistiques!

La Galerie d’art Beaverbrook présente:

Mon monde à moi: Creations de jeunes artistes du Nouveau-Brunswick

Les œuvres d’art séléctionnées seront en exposition à la Galerie d’art Beaverbrook du 2 octobre 2011 au 8 janvier 2012

Pour pouvoir soumettre une œuvre, tout jeune artiste doit être résident du Nouveau-Brunswick et avoir moins de dix-neuf ans au 1 october 2011. Envoyez-nous vos créations sur la thème:  Mon monde à moi
Œuvres d’art admises:
• Peintures (toutes techniques)
• Dessins (toutes techniques)
• Gravures (tous genres)
• Les œuvres don’t let dimensions n’excèdent pas 46 cm x 61 cm.
• Chaque jeune artiste peut somettre une œuvre seulement.

Pour obtenir des formulaires, suivez ce lien pour télécharger, ou téléphonez au 458-2031. Veuillez imprimer et completer trois copies.
Cette exposition a reçu l’appui généreux de la Province du Nouveau-Brunswick

Art Talk with Mr. Graham Gordon, Thursday June 30th 2011

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery presents a special talk by Mr. Graham Gordon about the rare and spectacular historic monumental painting, “Henry VIII, Act V, Scene IV, The Christening of Princess Elizabeth,” c. 1787, by Matthew William Peters (1742 – 1814). On loan from Mr. Graham Gordon, a private collector who rescued it from an uninhabited castle in Ireland in 1970, this dramatic, large-scale work of art depicts Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The last time it was presented in the public domain was over two hundred years ago as part of the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery.

The talk will begin at 12 noon on Thursday, June 30. Coffee and light refreshments will be served. Free admission.
For more information call Adda at 458-2032.

The Cabinet of Catherine Hale

Published Saturday June 18th, 2011

Telegraph Journal

After isolating herself in her Fredericton home for more than a decade, Catherine Hale emerges at 84 for a major career survey.

Story by Mike Landry

Catherine Hale has her obituary written and ready to go. In fact, she’s written it more than once. And she’s kept the drafts, like she keeps most everything else.

After June 30, the Fredericton artist says she’ll have to rewrite her obituary one more time. That’s when the Beaverbrook Art Gallery opens a major survey exhibition chronicling the Hale’s creative production. Catherine Hale: Between the Spirit and the Dust will be on display until Sept. 11 and will then go on to the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown.

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Art Lovers Tour

Please join our passionate and knowledgeable interpreter, Gerry Rymes, for a revealing and exciting looking at the masterpieces in our permanent collection.

Every Saturday (beginning Saturday, June 11th, 2011 and running until Saturday, August 27, 2011), at 1:00pm & at 3:00pm.

Free with admission!

Clothes make the man (and woman)

HERENB / By Diane Cole / Published Thursday June 2nd, 2011

Language of Dress shows the impact of fashion on society

Before photographs, there were portraits.

They provided clues into the lives of the people immortalized on canvas. Their posture, expressions and environment could tell much about that person’s life. But that’s not all, suggests Terry Graff, chief curator and deputy director of Fredericton’s Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

“What else can we say about portraits,” he says. “What other things do you see? The fashion, the clothes they’re wearing.”

He searched through the gallery’s collection, looking for portraits emphasizing the progression of fashion over time. He gathered a showing of full-bodied portraits from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.

You'd never guess it, but these two dudes look smug because they're secretly wearing fishnets. Scandal! Anonymous, "Two Gentlemen," early 18th century, oil on canvas

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