Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Monday, 23 November 2009
Thursday, 19 November 2009
By depositing the perfect model of an ear, probably in a holy place or on an altar, the owner was probably asking the Gods to help heal the ear in real life – quite literally meaning that they wanted their ear to be just like the perfect model. This practice is known as a form of sympathetic magic and was commonplace in the ancient world.
The ear was unearthed in Lanuvium, Italy during Lord Savile’s excavations carried out in the 1800s and is likely to have been found near a temple complex. It is about the size of an adult human ear.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Not quite a camera obscura, in fact more of a projector, but with an interesting story of its own. its actually a fairly standard Business Kodak compact model with a plastic opaque screen at the back so you can project your 8mm film from within the box. it wasn't accessioned on arrival in the collections but the sticker on the side reveals its story, A Cunard label gives the passenger details as John Alcock, travelling on the Queen Mary to Canada in the 1950s, date unclear.
what we do know of Mr Alcock however is that he was head of the Hunslet Engine Company at the time, and in the 1950s they were trying to break into the American market with their underground diesel locomotives. probably armed with this projector and films we now have in store at Yorkshire Film Archive, John headed for the American Mining Exhibition at the Cleveland Show in May 1953. Sadly he made no sales as the americans were convinced that underground diesel locomotives were not safe, opting instead for battery powered models, but i do wonder if he persuaded the ships purser to show some of his films on the ship......
The photo shows the business of cleaning the reverse of the canvas before restretching it. The stretcher can just be seen in the background. The painting by is by John Walker titled Lesson II. To make matters a little more challenging the artist had used a trapezoid shaped stretcher. The painting is now up on the wall in the Silver gallery and I’m in no hurry to get it down again!
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Perfect Likenesses in miniature Profile taken by J.Miers LEEDS and reduced on a plan entirely new which preserves the most exact Symetry and animated expression of the Features much Superior to any other method. Time of sitting one Minute. NB He keeps the original Shades, and can supply those he has once taken with any number of Copies. Those who have shades by them may have them reduced to any size and dressed in the present Taste.
Orders at any Time addressed to him at Leeds in Yorkshire will be punctually dispatched.
It would be great fun to try and reproduce his method, build a camera obscura and get people to have a go: Any volunteers ? Time of sitting only one minute!
Friday, 25 September 2009
Dummy boards were painted images meant to be propped up in a room to make the occupants feel they were not alone. This one is probably of a female servant and came to us with the Roger Warner bequest. At some time before she was acquired for Temple Newsam she had lost a hand and it was replaced with this hideous attempt. We all know hands are tricky to draw, but you would have thought whoever did it might have made a bit more effort. The fingernails were very crudely drawn in pencil. Options for treatment were discussed with curatorial staff – it was felt that the sheer ugliness of the old retouching was obtrusive and should be removed and re-done. It is rare that this amount of anatomical reconstruction is required in the treatment of an oil painting – most inpainting is carried out on very tiny losses. I had been attending a evening class in life drawing which honed some skills in observational drawing which proved very useful. After careful cleaning, a more anatomically correct hand was painted in acrylic, and varnished. She is now on display in the House in one of the new refurbished rooms.
Monday, 21 September 2009
I like the connection this sketch gives us to Mok while he was alive: it's unusual to have an image of a living specimen from the collection. This particular drawing makes me wonder about his life in the zoo - is he bored, dreaming of Africa or just watching the world go by?
This was sketched by Stuart Tresilian, a regular visitor to London Zoo. He used its inhabitants as references for his drawings illustrating Rudyard Kipling's 'Animal Stories' and 'All the Mowgli Stories'.