2018 Collections Access Grants awarded to Lotherton Hall and Kingston Museum.
Image: Panel detail of the William Burges table at Lotherton Hall.
The Decorative Arts Society is delighted to announce that it has awarded two Collections Access Grants for 2018. These are the fifth and sixth awards made under the annual grant scheme launched by the DAS in 2014. This year the grant was increased to a maximum of £5000.
One grant has been awarded to Lotherton Hall, part of Leeds Museums and Galleries, for the conservation of a table designed c. 1867 by renowned architect and designer William Burges (1827-1881). The table was for Burges’ own house in Buckingham Street, London, and he took it with him when he moved to Tower House in 1878, where it formed part of a larger suite of painted furniture. The table has a pietra dura top that requires specialist conservation to repair and replace unsightly losses. The conservation work will allow for research into the table top and give new insights into the likely origins and dating of its panels and how Burges composed the design of the table. This information will enable a more in-depth interpretation of the table as part of the celebrations of Lotherton’s 50th anniversary as a public museum in 2019. These will focus on new ways to convey the significance and variety of the hall’s important collections to the visitor. The research will also form part of an online resource about techniques and materials in the decorative arts (mylearning.org).
Image: A Martinware Renaissance Revival jar from the Kingston Museum.
The other grant has been awarded to the Kingston Museum, part of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, to redisplay and reinterpret two of its significant collections. The first of these comprises Martinware and other ceramics, including work by William Staite Murray and Bernard Leach, collected by Ernest Marsh (1863-1945), part of a wealthy Kingston milling family. The second consists of ceramics and designs made by Denise Wren (1891-1979), a student of Archibald Knox and one of the first female studio potters in Britain. These important ceramics collections provide an interesting insight into the beginnings of the studio pottery movement. The DAS grant will enable Kingston to refurbish three cases, improve the lighting, produce new display mounts and text panels and labels and have on permanent view, with the flexibility to change objects around, a much large portion of these significant collections than at present. This reinterpretation will build on two successful temporary exhibitions in 2015 and 2017-18.
The institutions listed are where the awardees worked when applying for the bursary.