Rembrandt in Print
18 January – 2 August 2020
To launch Hertfordshire’s Year of Culture, we hosted an exhibition from the Ashmolean Museum of prints by Rembrandt van Rĳn, one of the greatest artists of all time. It consists of prints from their world-class collection of prints made by the artist, spanning much of his career from Leiden in the early 1630s to those made in Amsterdam in the 1650s. Many of the prints were given to the University of Oxford in 1855 by the collector Chambers Hall.
Born in Leiden in The Netherlands in 1606, Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam about 1631, where he became the greatest Dutch artist of all time. His popularity derives from his exceptional observational skills. The works include not only revealing self-portraits but also sensitive landscapes and tender religious subjects shown as everyday scenes.
Art Treasures from North Hertfordshire Museum
5 October 2019 – 5 January 2020
This exhibition, held in the main exhibition gallery, included works from the former Hitchin and Letchworth Museums. This was the first time that we were able to select works from the two collections to show as a single exhibition.
Krysia: new paintings
Krysia is a professional artist living in Bygrave, with a studio in Hitchin, who specialises in striking colourful portraits.
This exhibition was held in The Arches from 21 September to 24 November 2019.
Krysia’s paintings are original, bursting with a vivid imagination but balanced by the elegance of the line, bold colours and imbued with a certain poetic, Slavonic wistfulness, especially in the eyes, which makes her work very distinctive.
Blood and Bone: an amazing interactive exhibition
This sensory exhibition specifically for family audiences, from Spacecadets Air Design, ran from 6 July to 22 September 2019.
Spacecadets have taken inspiration from human biology and the artworks are inspired by cells and organisms inside our bodies. Visitors could explore, listen to and touch a series of giant breathing tunnels and caves suggestive of body organs, blood cells and bone.
Vanessa Stone: A Slice of North Hertfordshire
This exhibition was held in The Arches from 6 July to 15 September 2019.
Vanessa Stone is a cut paper and collage artist who uses bold colours and pared down compositions that are primarily inspired by English countryside and townscapes. All Vanessa’s collages are cut by hand using a scalpel. She cuts shapes from the surface of paper, letting an image rise to the surface. This exhibition of nine collages is a personal response to places that resonate strongly with her experience of living in Letchworth for many years. They are pieces which evoke memories of childhood play, family walks and views of places on the way home from the school run – as well as works which celebrate the amazing architecture of the area.
John W. Mills: Sculptor to the Nation
This exhibition ran from 23 February to 27 April 2019
This exhibition was an in-depth look at the work of John W Mills, a sculptor who has lived and worked in Hinxworth for many years. He is best known for his national commissions including ‘The Women of World War II’ monument in Whitehall, London and ‘The National Firefighters Memorial ‘at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. He has also designed a number of Royal Mint coins including the D-Day 50 pence coin. Sculptures made from bronze, resin, terracotta and plaster will be on display and will include a model for The Women of World War II; Tommy, Charlie Chaplin and a self-portrait.
Born in 1933, John W Mills has dedicated his life to sculpture and design work with a career spanning over 60 years. He studied at Hammersmith School of Art and the Royal College of Art, eventually teaching art across the UK and the USA. His work has won awards from the Royal Society of British Sculptors and the Royal Society of Arts and has been exhibited in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.