G F Watts Victorian Visionary opened at the Guildhall Art Gallery
G F Watts Victorian Visionary opened at the Guildhall Art Gallery on 11th November. It was wonderful to see the Watts Gallery collection within a very different context. Rich red and green damask wall-coverings and good gallery lighting is such a contrast to the Watts Gallery. A different hang and environment makes you look at the paintings again and what a revelation! Everyone tells me that they are seeing the paintings for the time and how beautiful, powerful and engaging they are, which, I have to say, is a delight. To see G F Watts shine and reflect just part of his importance as a painter is a significant marker and I can’t wait to see them in the restored Gallery in Compton.
The catalogue to accompany the exhibition was also launched and I hope that the new research it contains and its survey of Watts, the Watts Gallery and Collection will be well received, it has been a very rewarding process working on this with Barbara Bryant. Watts and the collection in Compton has often wrongly been seen as the work of a faded eccentric outsider, it is my hope that the exhibition as gone someway to address this misconception.