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Turner in Barnstaple

Jul 20, 2024   -   Oct 12, 2024

Turner in Barnstaple is our new exciting summer exhibition. Showcasing Barnstaple Bridge at Sunset c.1814 by Joseph Mallord William Turner, on loan from the Tate, we will be exploring Barnstaple at the time of his visit during the beginning of the 19th century.

Joseph Mallord William Turner is probably Britain’s most well-loved, and well-known painter. Here in Barnstaple, we know that Turner visited the town twice, creating pencil sketches and small watercolour sketch of Barnstaple Bridge. These works are part of a larger body of work created during Turner’s sketching tour of the West Country in 1813, and the works forms part of the Turner Bequest, a huge collection of nearly 300 oil paintings, around 30,000 sketches and watercolours, and 300 sketchbooks, which are cared for by the Tate.

TURNER arrived in the West on a professional tour. Among those who entertained him with admiring hospitality, was Mr. John Collier, whom I have mentioned among my own most respected friends, as having preceded Turner to the grave. We were sailing on the St. Germain river, Turner, Collier and myself, when I remarked what a number of artists the West of England had produced from Reynolds to Prout.

“You may add my name to the list,” said Turner, “I am a Devonshire man.”
I asked from what part of the county, and he replied, “From Barnstaple.”
Fifty Years’ Recollections, Literary and Personal, with Observations on Men and Things, by Cyrus Redding, 1858.

Turner in Barnstaple will be open from July 20th to October 12th 2024. Come along and discover more about Turner, Turner’s North Devon family and Regency Barnstaple, and join in our many free activities over August.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

July
20 – Turner’s tours to the West Country – observation and imagination with Professor Sam Smiles – FULLY BOOKED
22 – Start of Museum Summer Trail
31 – Curious Creators – Watercolour Mayhem

August
3 – Outdoor Sketching Sessions: En Plein Air with Tom Stevenson – FULLY BOOKED
7 – Curious Creators – Devon Science – Colour Science
10 – Outdoor Sketching Sessions: En Plein Air with Louise Waugh
14 – Curious Creators – STEM Engineering – Lego Bridges
17 – Outdoor Sketching Sessions: En Plein Air with Richard Towers
21 – Curious Creators – Liz Wilde Printing
24 – Outdoor Sketching Sessions: En Plein Air with Cara Finnigan
28 – Curious Creators – Painting Landscapes with Ruth Bateman
31 – Outdoor Sketching Sessions: En Plein Air with Maria Rose

September
14 – Artist Luna North Talk and Demonstration
28 – Turner’s tours to the West Country – observation and imagination with Professor Sam Smiles – FULLY BOOKED

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