Posts Tagged ‘hogarth’s house’

Exhibition at Hogarth’s House, 22 January – 3 April 2016

A guest post by LH Member, Val Bott

Anthropometamorphosis: Man Transform’d, or the Artificial Changeling, John Bulwer, 1653, a study of the way humans have modified their bodies for cultural and cosmetic reasons

Anthropometamorphosis: Man Transform’d, or the Artificial Changeling, John Bulwer, 1653, a study of the way humans have modified their bodies for cultural and cosmetic reasons

Layton’s Library: A Curious Collection will display some of the most beautiful and unusual examples of 17th and 18th century books once owned by Brentford antiquarian Thomas Layton. These are amongst the oldest volumes from his remarkable collection and this is an exciting opportunity to see them for the first time.

Supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Thomas Layton Trust is running a project to raise awareness and understanding of the collection. The exhibition has been curated by a team of dedicated local volunteers who have selected books for display from around 8,000 volumes! Visitors will be intrigued by these early books, their various subjects, their bindings and their illustrations. They will also learn a little about Layton and his passion for collecting and the Trust hopes the exhibition will raise awareness of the collection and share it with a new generation of readers.

The exhibition is on show at Hogarth’s House, Chiswick, admission free. Visitors are welcome from Tuesday to Sunday, between 12 noon to 5pm, until 3 April. From 30 April 2016, some of the exhibition will be on show at Boston Manor House in Brentford, where the Trust is planning a range of workshops for adults and children during the summer months.

Thomas Layton (born in 1819, died 1911) lived for the majority of his life on Kew Bridge Road in Brentford, West London. He was a lighterman, a coal merchant, a churchwarden, a member of the Burial Board and a Poor Law Guardian but, above all, he was a collector. During the course of his life he built up an enormous and intriguing collection of ‘every conceivable thing that can be found in an antique store’, including maps, prints, spears, swords, tokens, medals and coins, but his plans to endow a museum and library in Brentford ran into difficulties.

Many of his antiquities are on public display in the Museum of London; the river wall in their London Before London gallery. However, by far the largest element of his collection – the extraordinary collection of books – has remained relatively unknown and little used. The laytoncollection.org website has brought many of the elements together as a “virtual museum” for you to explore.

Antiquarians frm Grose

Rules for drawing caricatures: with an essay on comic painting, Francis Grose, 1791, with wonderful illustrations by the author

The books on show include
A Compleat Collection of English Proverbs, John Ray, 3rd edition 1737
New, Authentic and Complete Collection of Voyages Round the World, Captain Cook’s First, Second, Third and Last Voyages, by George William Anderson, issued in 80 sixpenny parts 1784-6
Picturesque Views on the River Thames, Samuel Ireland, 1791
Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, 1631 edition
The Fables of Aesop, Paraphrased in Verse, Adorned with Sculpture & Illustrated with Annotations by John Ogilvie Esq, 1668
Indian antiquities or Dissertations relative to Hindostan, Thomas Maurice, 1792
A discourse concerning old-age Tending to The Instruction, Caution and Comfort of Aged Persons, Richard Steele, 1688
The Lady’s Magazine or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex, Appropriated solely to their Use and Amusement, 1790
The English House-Wife, Containing The inward and outward Vertues which ought to be in a Compleat Woman, Gervase Markham, 1683
Anthropometamorphosis: Man Transform’d, or the Artificial Changeling, John Bulwer, 1653
Rules for drawing Caricaturas: with an Essay on Comic Painting, Francis Grose, 1791

The Lady’s Magazine or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex. Appropriated solely to their Use and Amusement. Vol. XXI for the year 1790 - genteel entertainment, one year's monthly issue bound as a single volume.

The Lady’s Magazine or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex. Appropriated solely to their Use and Amusement. Vol. XXI for the year 1790 – genteel entertainment, one year’s monthly issue bound as a single volume.





Preview evening. 


Preview evening. 

All images by Toni Marshall. 


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A guest post by London Historians Member, Val Bott.

the painter and his pug by william hogarthWilliam Hogarth died 250 years ago on 26 October 1764. He spent Thursday, 24 October working on his engraving plate of The Bench at Chiswick but, too unwell to work on the 25th, he was taken to his town house in Leicester Fields while his wife remained at Chiswick. On going to bed, he was taken suddenly very ill and died a couple of hours later in the arms of his wife’s cousin, Mary Lewis, who had helped run the print business for years. He was buried at St Nicholas Church by the Thames at Chiswick, where later a fine memorial was erected with an epitaph by David Garrick.

That week a piece in the the London Evening Post commented that in Hogarth were happily united ‘the utmost force of human genius, an incomparable understanding, an inflexible integrity and a most benevolent heart. No man was better acquainted with the human passions, nor endeavoured to make them more subservient to the reformation of the world than this inimitable artist. His works will continue to be held in the highest estimation, so long as sense, genius and virtue shall remain among us’.

Hogarth's tomb in St Nicholas Churchyard, Chiswick, on the banks of the Thames.

Hogarth’s tomb in St Nicholas churchyard, Chiswick, on the banks of the Thames.

Hogarth was a Londoner through and through, depicting daily life in clear reality and with affection, while mocking those of whom he disapproved. A brilliant engraver and a fine self-taught painter, he produced memorable images which we love today. With an astute business sense he sold his prints by subscription and protected them from piracy through his successful campaign for the first artists’ Copyright Act. He was a generous man and his love for animals and children is evident in his work. A philanthropist, he was a governor of the Foundling Hospital, he oversaw the wet-nurses who cared for foundling babies in Chiswick and, with his wife Jane, fostered foundling children. When financially secure he acquired his much-loved second home a Chiswick which is now a museum about the Hogarths, their Chiswick friends and neighbours, and other past residents of the house. The walls are hung with his most important prints, depicting London as the backdrop to his famous series of modern moral subjects, but also at the theatre, in the crowd at Southwark Fair, in the streets in Four Times of Day.

Hogarth's House

Hogarth’s House.

The William Hogarth Trust has worked with Hogarth’s House this year to produce a new exhibition, The Small Self, which has just opened. Supported by a grant from the J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, it was devised by trustees Chrissy Blake and Jason Bowyer, who sent out sixty foot-square artists’ boards with an invitation to use these to submit a self portrait in homage to Hogarth. Fifty-three self-portraits have arrived, from the Trust’s patron, Sir Peter Blake, Royal Academicians William Bowyer, Anthony Green, Ken Howard and Humphrey Ocean, cartoonists Steve Bell and Martin Rowson, designers Cath Kidston and Toni Marshall, writers such as Jaqueline Wilson and Mike McCartney, performers including Harry Hill, Holly Johnson, Jim Moir and Joanna Lumley and members of the New English Art Club. This exhibition is testimony to a strong continuing enthusiasm for Hogarth; a beautiful little catalogue illustrating them all is on sale at £6.95.

Self portraits. Sir Peter Hall and Bowyer.

Self portraits. Sir Peter Blake and Jason Bowyer.

On the evening of 25 October the Trust and the Friends of St Nicholas will be mounting a special commemoration at Chiswick’s St Nicholas Church. Ars Eloquentiae will perform music Hogarth would have known (with some audience participation!) and Rosalind Knight, Lars Tharp and others will be reading 18th century texts to celebrate Hogarth’s life and work. Admission is £10, refreshments will be available and there will be a souvenir programme on sale. The event is supported by the J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, Hounslow Council and Fleet Tutors.

On 22 October The Cartoon Museum opens Hogarth’s London, a must for London Historians. It draws together a range of prints (including a number on loan from Hogarth’s House) to celebrate his love of the capital city and to reveal the vitality and the suffering of life here 250 years ago.

The Small Self continues until 11 January 2015, 12 noon to 17.00 Tuesday to Sunday, admission free.
Hogarth’s London continues until 18 January 2015, 10.30 to 17.30 Monday to Saturday, Sunday 12 noon to 17.30, at 35 Little Russell St, London WC1A 2HH. There is an admission charge – full details at cartoonmuseum.org.

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william hogarth

Self portrait, 1745, Tate Britain

Today we celebrate William Hogarth‘s 313th birthday. He was a Londoner and a patriot, a loving husband and a passionate humanitarian. And, of course, a fabulous dauber.

I first became interested in Hogarth about ten years ago, for parochial reasons, really. An unveiling of his 300th anniversary statue was to take place a few hundred yards from where I worked in Chiswick. This was in 2001, some several years after the actual anniversary. I clearly remember waiting patiently in the freezing rain with hundreds of other Hogarth fans, including Ian Hislop and David Hockney, for the Mayor of Hounslow to do the honours. His Worship was so late that it fell on Hislop to do the deed, as I recall it, but at least the rain let up for the key moment. The fundraising for this monument had been so successful that the organising committee were able to add Hogarth’s famous pug to the commission.

Most of us are familiar with Hogarth’ s work – The Rake’s Progress,  Marriage à-la-mode and so on. What makes them so enjoyable is their cartoonic qualities, indeed their strip cartoonic qualities in many cases. You can admire a landscape or seascape or still life or formal portrait. But you can love a Hogarth.  Gin Lane or The Hay Wain? It’s no contest.

william hogarth ian  hislop

2001: Ian Hislop does the honours.

Of course, as an artisan painter and engraver, he did plenty of jobbing work too – commissioned portraits, book illustrations, etc. But his pictures are ultimately all about people, always the people, many of them grotesque characactures, yet brimming with humanity. They tell us as much about 18th century life as thousands of words from so many historians.

What I really admire about Hogarth is that outside of his talent, he was a practical businessman and energetic philanthropist, and one has to wonder where he found the time, given his prodigious output.

Two of his innovations stand out.

Hogarth became frustrated at copies of his engravings being sold in their thousands with not a penny accruing to him. So he did something about it. It was largely thanks to his lobbying that Parliament, in 1734, passed the Engraving Copyright Act, informally known as Hogarth’s Act. This protected all makers of original engravings from being ripped off. It was eventually superceded by the Copyright Act of 1911.  How many writers, artists, musicians and film makers today realise the debt they owe to Hogarth? 

Hogarth was a keen supporter of the establishment of Thomas Coram’s Foundling Hospital which was a care home for abandoned children. Indeed he and his wife Jane, who were childless, ran a wet nursery in support of the hospital from their home in Chiswick. Hogarth donated some paintings to the hospital and came up with the idea of encouraging other artists to do the same and then holding fund-raisers by inviting rich people to come and see the paintings. So it can reasonably be argued that Hogarth was the inventor of the public art gallery. Although I knew there were Hogarths at the Foundling Museum, I only learned about all of this a matter of weeks ago when I visited the museum for the first time.

Tonight we will be toasting Hogarth’s memory in gin. I’m not sure he would have approved, but the proceeds will all go towards restoring his old house on the south side of the A4 in Chiswick. It will reopen to the public next summer. We’ll keep you informed.

So, Cheers! Happy Birthday, Bill. Can I call you Bill?

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Photo of Hogarth's House, which is on the A4 r...

Image via Wikipedia

This evening I attended my first meeting of my local society, the Brentford and Chiswick Local History Society. They very kindly and unexpectedly invited me to talk briefly about London Historians. This was rather unnerving, public speaking not being my strong suit, but I think I survived on sheer enthusiasm and the pint of London Pride I had just consumed.

Turnout was strong, at least 50 I estimate, lovely people all. Tonight the talk was by John Collins, Hogarth’s House Outreach Officer, who told us how the renovation was coming along and that this building – dear to the heart of many local denizens – would be reopening late next Spring, with a following wind. I have visited the house several times over the years and would recommend it to all Londoners with the slightest interest in British art and the 18th century generally. Chiswick House is right next door, as is the famous Griffin Brewery of Fullers. What’s not to like?

All in all, a thoroughly positive experience, and I only regret not joining my local society earlier. I’d encourage you to do likewise. Check out our local groups page here. London Historians will give a discount on our membership equivalent to your local society subscription up to a value of £10. That’s right, we’ll pay for your local society sub!

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