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Shelf Life: 40 Years of Pallant House Gallery Catalogues
[ Library and Archive )
Our Librarian, Jane Holt, explores the Gallery’s rich history of catalogue production over the last 40 years.
Pallant House Gallery has presented numerous exhibitions over the last 40 years. Many were ground-breaking in their presentation and analysis of artists’ work and lives. Many of the catalogues produced to accompany our exhibitions have become seminal scholarly works, and some have even become collector’s items. The Gallery produced and published most of these catalogues, and below we highlight just a few.
In the early days, the Gallery’s exhibition catalogues were often photocopied A4 sheets with coloured illustrated covers, such as Ceri Richards: The Mythologies.
Gradually more substantial guides to and books about Pallant House Gallery’s history and the art it holds, were published. The Walter Hussey Collection introduced the Gallery’s founding collection, the Hussey Bequest, given to the City of Chichester by retired Dean of the Cathedral, Walter Hussey.
Pallant House Chichester: A Brief History with a description of the restoration of the Historic Rooms explores the history of the wonderful Queen Anne house much of our art is housed in.
Catalogues for the temporary exhibitions we have held are important resources about British artists working from 1900 to now. The in-depth research by our Curators to realise an exhibition is considerable. Capturing it in a catalogue provides key and contextual information for anyone interested in art as well as art historians and researchers. Some catalogues have become seminal works about an artist. Print runs are usually relatively small and the catalogues are often out of print making some collector’s items.
Below are a few of the notable catalogues we have published over the last 40 years.
Hans Feibusch: The Heat of Vision | Exhibition 5 September – 21 October 1995
This exhibition was the first major retrospective of Hans Feibusch (1898-1998) and introduced his work to a new and wider audience. Feibusch was a German Jewish émigré to London and one of the last surviving artists featured in Hitler’s Degenerate Art exhibition in 1937. He became well known as a muralist, and received many commissions to paint Christian themes from the Bishop of Chichester, George Bell. Pallant House Gallery holds a considerable number of his works and his Studio Archive.
Poets in the Landscape: the Romantic Spirit in British Art | Exhibition 31 March – 10 June 2007
Tying in with the 250 anniversary of the birth of William Blake, the exhibition, Poets in the Landscape: the Romantic Spirit in British Art, and the essays in the catalogue explored the creative connections between poetry, the pastoral vision and British romantic art from 1775 to 1955. It featured artists inspired by Blake such as John Craxton, David Jones, Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland.
Eye-Music: Kandinsky, Klee and all that jazz | Exhibition 30 Jun - 16 Sep 2007
This catalogue came from a joint exhibition, Eye-Music: Kandinsky, Klee and all that jazz, curated by Head of Curatorial Services Frances Guy and toured at the Sainsbury Centre at University of East Anglia. It featured essays that explored artists inspired by musical forms and ideas and included works by Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Eduardo Paolozzi, Alan Davie and John Tunnard.
Eileen Agar: an Eye for Collage | Exhibition 25 Oct 2008 – 15 Mar 2009
Eileen Agar: an Eye for Collage was curated by, and the catalogue written by, Andrew Lambirth. He was a friend of Eileen Agar and was able to share personal insights into her thoughts and artistic method. Lambirth drew on unpublished research and focused on Agar’s collages to reposition her within the English Romantic tradition and not the usual Surrealist one.
Surreal Friends: Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and Kati Horna | Exhibition 19 June – 12 September 2010
The exhibition Surreal Friends: Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and Kati Horna brought together the work of three artists who met and became friends in Mexico City after escaping Europe during the Second World War. Each had previously been associated with the Surrealists in Paris in 1930s, coming from very different backgrounds but finding common ground in their art – Leonora Carrington from stiff upper-class England, Remedios Varo, a Spanish artist escaping Spain during the Spanish Civil War, and Kati Horna, a Hungarian photographer who also fled Spain.
Gods and Monsters: John Deakin’s Portraits of British Artists | Exhibition 2 October 2010 – 10 January 2011
The exhibition Gods and Monsters: John Deakin’s Portraits of British Artists took place in 2010.
John Deakin (1912-72) worked for Vogue in 1950’s. He was friends with many artists, and his photographs of artists, commissioned by Vogue, featured in this publication. They were displayed at Pallant House Gallery alongside works by the artists depicted from our collections.
Edward Burra | Exhibition Touring 22 October 2011 - 27 May 2012
Edward Burra was a major exhibition of works by Burra from across the world. It was the first show dedicated to the artist in 25 years, coincidently opening on the exact day of the 35th anniversary of his death. Arranged thematically, the exhibition and the catalogue explored Burra’s work not just as an artist of the seedy side of urban life but through his social observation and draughtsmanship.
Eduardo Paolozzi: Collaging Culture | Exhibition 6 July – 13 October 2013
Looking at Eduardo Poalozzi through the variety of medium he worked in, the exhibition, Eduardo Paolozzi: Collaging Culture, and catalogue bought together art works and contextual, archive material. It showcased Paolozzi not just as artist, printmaker and sculptor, but also as maker of collage, textile designer, ceramicist, and jewellery maker.
Conscience and Conflict: British Artists and the Spanish Civil War | Exhibition: November 2014 - February 2015
Sickert in Dieppe | Exhibition 4 July - 4 October 2015
Walter Sickert was a regular visitor to Dieppe, eventually moving there permanently between 1898 and 1905. He developed friendships with many leading French artists, including Edgar Degas. Through paintings, prints, preparatory drawings, etchings, and archive materials, the exhibition, Sickert in Dieppe, and catalogue considered how Dieppe and the artists he knew informed Sickert’s art.
Cathie Pilkington: Working from Home | Exhibition 6 October 2018 - 31 March 2019
Sculptor Cathie Pilkington RA ‘took over’ the upper floor of Pallant House Gallery’s historic townhouse to explore the relationship between personal collections and public display. The ‘immersive’ exhibition, Cathie Pilkington: Working from Home, interweaving Pilkington’s own work with works she selected from the Collections explored themes of motherhood, privacy, domesticity and the unconscious. This was the latest of the ongoing series of artists’ interventions.
Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and her Contemporaries | Exhibition 2 Nov 2019 - 23 Feb 2020
Jessica Dismorr (1885 – 1939) was once an artist at the forefront of the avant-garde in Britain, but later fell into obscurity. The exhibition and catalogue, Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and her Contemporaries, curated and written by Alicia Foster, attempts to reposition her as an important artist, and explored how Dismorr and her female contemporaries engaged with modernist literature and radical politics through their writings, paintings, sculptures, graphic art and archival materials. Artists included Anne Estelle Rice, Ethel Wright, Helen Saunders, Paule Vézelay, Sophie Fedorovitch, Winifred Nicholson, Edith Rimmington, Betty Rea and Barbara Hepworth.
Barnett Freedman: Designs for Modern Britain | Exhibition 14 March - 01 November 2020
Curated by Emma Mason, Barnett Freedman: Designs for Modern Britain, was the first major reappraisal of Barnett Freesman’s work since the Arts Council retrospective at the Tate in 1958. The catalogue contains essays on aspects of Freedman’s work particularly as a commercial designer, typographer, lithographer and book illustrator. It includes some of Freedman’s own writings on his craft.
Drawn to Nature: Gilbert White and the Artists | Exhibition 11 Mar -4 Nov 2020
Not a catalogue as such, this publication, Drawn to Nature: Gilbert White and the Artists, from the Gallery was inspired by the exhibition of the same name. It opened just as the first COVID-19 restrictions came into place. Simon Martin discusses and illustrates how artists and writers across the ages right up to the present day, have been inspired by Gilbert White’s remarkable record, published in 1789, of the nature around him at Selbourne in Dorset.
Glyn Philpot: Flesh and Spirit | Exhibition 14 May - 23 Oct 2022
Our latest catalogue is an important assessment of the work of Glyn Philpot for the exhibition, Glyn Philpot: Flesh and Spirit. Simon Martin has spent many years carefully researching Philpot’s work, the patrons who commissioned him, and the people he actually painted. The resulting book is more than an exhibition catalogue but an important addition to scholarly art history.
This blog highlights just a few of our catalogues to give a (selective) snapshot of the rich and varied story of Pallant House Gallery since 1982. Our Library and Archives hold copies of all the Gallery’s publications, which form part of our Exhibition Archives.
Pallant House Gallery Library and Archives is open by appointment on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Please contact our librarian, Jane Holt on email@example.com.