Scene Through Wood celebrates one of the most astonishingly skilful and richly creative forms of visual art. Curated by Anne Desmet RA, the exhibition marks 100 years since the founding of the Society of Wood Engravers in 1920. It includes works from the Ashmolean’s outstanding collection of many thousands of prints, plus loans from private collections by leading artist-engravers from the 1790s right up to the present.
The wood engravings range over Romanticism, modernism and abstraction, to extraordinary photo-realistic works that defy belief. It demonstrates the endless versatility of the medium which has been used to depict the whole ‘theatre of life’, from work and play, war and hardship, designs for industry and typography, to natural landscapes and dazzling scenes of inner cities. Included are well-known names such as William Blake, Samuel Palmer, M. C. Escher and Peter Blake; and many women artists including Gertrude Hermes RA, Gwen Raverat and Edwina Ellis whose outstanding works deserve to be better known.
A specially curated selection of wood engravings by Reynolds Stone from the collections at Dorset Museum will also be on display. An illustrator, painter, designer and typographer his work spans the Natural World and Commercial Design sections of the exhibition. Pastoral scenery based on close observation was the subject of much of Stone’s work. He is also well known for his lettering inspired by the Renaissance and formal elegance of Eric Gill.
Image: Brooklyn Bridge series: Afternoon © Anne Desmet, 2015
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Join us for an opportunity to explore the Museum at this free late opening
Thu 19th May - 5:00pm
This talk explores the exhibition with the help of its key objects from across Europe, including the first loan to Britain of the Nebra sky disc and several important objects kindly loaned to the exhibition by Dorset Museum.
Thu 19th May - 7:00pm
Discovered in the 1930s, one of the best examples of a Roman Town House in England is situated here in Dorchester.
Sat 21st May - 10:30am
and 3 future schedules
The largest collection of Thomas Hardy objects ever displayed at one time
Sat 28th May - All day
Model theatre-making based on Hardy's novels and the model by Thomas Tilley for the Hardy Players in the Hardy's Dorset Gallery.
Tue 31st May - 10:00am
Join Tom Sharpe, formerly Curator of Palaeontology and Archives at the National Museum of Wales, and author of ‘The Fossil Woman: A life of Mary Anning’, to examine what we know of the life of this extraordinary woman.
Thu 22nd Sep - 7:00pm