The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, May 26, 2018

American Museum in Britain Celebrates 50 Years of Relations Between the Two Countries
Views of Claverton Manor, home of The American Museum in Britian.

BATH.- “It was unique when it opened in 1961, and it remains unique today.” This is how Richard Wendorf, the director of an unusual museum on the outskirts of Bath , describes the only public collection of American art to be found beyond the boundaries of the United States .

The American Museum in Britain, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2011, contains over 15,000 items devoted to the decorative arts of America: fancy gowns and Shaker furniture, an extensive collection of native folk art, important holdings of early maps charting the discovery and exploration of the Americas, and one of the largest and finest quilt collections in the entire world. “Portrait paintings and Grandma Moses, painted furniture and Chinese export porcelain – you will find it all here on top of Claverton Hill.”

For the past 50 years the American Museum in Britain has informed its visitors about the cultural history of the United States in order to strengthen relations between the two countries. Over 3 million people have visited the Museum since it opened in 1961, averaging around 40,000 visitors a year, including thousands of schoolchildren. In 2011, the Museum will mark this historical milestone with a major loan exhibition, a gallery trail, three publications, and the opening of two new facilities. The anniversary year will also feature parties, a film series, and lectures in Bath , London , New York and Washington and much much more.

On view in the main exhibition gallery will be an intriguing show entitled Marilyn – Hollywood Icon, featuring twenty of the screen goddess’s gowns and outfits, original photographs and posters, and personal items, all kindly loaned by David Gainsborough Roberts, who has one of the largest collections of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia. Fab@50 presents fifty unusual items in the collection and the fabulous stories that lie behind them, displayed in the Museum’s period rooms within Claverton Manor. On view from 12 March to 30 October 2011, the exhibition and display will be accompanied by significant publications.

The two new facilities to be unveiled in this anniversary year are the Folk Art Gallery, located in the former picture gallery of Claverton Manor, and The Coach House – which includes the former stables. The latter will be used for lectures, corporate retreats, musical events, films and educational purposes. The creation of these two new facilities has been made possible by a successful capital campaign that raised over £4 million for the Museum by the close of 2009.

The folk art collection introduces visitors to a distinctly American aesthetic. “Folk art” tends to be a misunderstood term in Britain , often applied incorrectly as a synonym for “unsophisticated” or “amateur”. At the Museum, its American context is conveyed: the art of the artisan in a pre-Industrial America , with pieces often crafted for constructive use – such as bird decoys, weather vanes, and trade signs – or to capture child likenesses in an age of high infant mortality. The comprehensive collection is acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic , and ranges from the late 18th to the 20th century. It includes important works such as portraits by celebrated artists John Brewster Jr. (1766-1854), Ammi Phillips (1788-1865), Orlando Hand Bears (1811-1851) as well as Sturtevant Hamblen (1817-1884). There are also diverse sculpted pieces: from several shop figures (including three large Cigar-Store Indians), a Mohawk figurehead, gilded metal weathervanes shaped as Native Americans, to a late-19th century carousel giraffe and a carved eagle thought to be by Wilhelm Schimmel (1817-1890). The opening of the Folk Art Gallery will be heralded by the publication of a catalogue published by Scala Press.

The Museum was founded by two visionary collectors: Dallas Pratt, a New York psychiatrist, and his partner John Judkyn, an English antiques dealer who took American citizenship after the Second World War. Based on their knowledge of the Winterthur , Shelburne, and Colonial Williamsburg museums in the United States , Pratt and Judkyn shared the extraordinary ambition of creating a museum of American decorative arts and crafts in Britain . Collecting most of the objects themselves, they shipped them across the Atlantic and put them on show deep in the English countryside. Panelled rooms from old houses in Massachusetts and Connecticut, the artefacts of everyday life in historic New England, New Mexico, and New Orleans, Navajo rugs, the brightly painted tinware of the Pennsylvania Germans – Pratt and Judkyn wanted all of these rooms and objects to appear as if their original owners had “just stepped out” before their guests arrived.

The richness of the collection spans US history from its early settlers to the 20th century, portraying the complexity and depth of American culture. The rooms are devoted to Shaker and Federal furniture, the 19th-century China trade, and the Museum’s world-class collection of textiles, including the famous quilts collection. Claverton Manor provides a spectacular setting for these sometimes humble American rooms, and it was the founders’ intention to provide an experience for visitors that was quite different from what they would find in other English country houses. The rooms of the American Museum were “occupied” by modest people who lived industrious lives, often in harsh conditions, and who valued the work of the skilled craftsmen and women who produced their furniture, their clocks, and their textiles.

The Museum’s collections, in turn, have helped to generate a revival in the United Kingdom of quilting and patchwork, and nourished enthusiasm for the unadorned work of the Shakers. Artists and designers such as Kaffe Fassett and Laura Ashley have found it a great source of inspiration. Above all, the Museum has helped to promote Anglo-American friendship and understanding by giving its visitors a new way of seeing America : as a country with an interesting history, and as a distinctive civilization with its own traditions and ways of living.

During the past five years, the Museum has developed new programmes and facilities to keep its collections and mission as pertinent as ever. Its café has been renovated and expanded, an interactive American Heritage Centre has been created in the basement, rooms at the top of the manor have been restored for entertaining and for corporate hire, and the grounds themselves – over 150 acres – have been lovingly tended, with the addition of an arboretum of native American trees and a Lewis and Clark Trail. Visitors can also enjoy the Mount Vernon Garden (which pays tribute to the garden George Washington would have known in Virginia ) and the spectacular view down the Limpley Stoke Valley .

The American Museum in Britain | Richard Wendorf | Bath |

Last Week News

November 27, 2010

Galería Javier López - Mário Sequeira Opens New Space with Alex Katz Retrospective

Morandi and Fontana Lead the Milan Evening Sale of Modern and Contemporary Art at Sotheby's

Mexico Launches "Mexican Digital Library" Including Twenty Important Codices

Auction Houses in London Eye Russian Recovery Ahead of Next Week's Sales

MacDougall's Have the Top Lot of London's "Russian Week", Early Masterpiece by Ivan Shishkin

Unprecedented Discovery of Imperial Correspondence to Go on Sale at the Hotel des Ventes in Geneva

National Gallery in London Acquires First Work by Norwegian Artist Peder Balke

Bonhams to Hold First Modern Turkish Art Sale in London in April 2011

Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal Exhibit Shows Bastille Prison had 5-Star Comforts

Artist as Activist: United Kingdom's Tate Modern to Show Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape

Consumer Power: 50 Years of Choice Explores the Role of Choice Displays at the Powerhouse Museum

Major Exhibition of Work by Queensland Artist Scott Redford at the Queensland Art Gallery

Major Gifts Establish Centre for the Study of Drawings at the Courtauld Institute of Art

Sotheby's Auction The Great Britain Philatelic Collections of Lady Mairi Bury Brings £3 Million

Climate Activists in Egypt Use Art to Send Message

Phillips de Pury & Company Announces Forthcoming London Theme Auction MUSIC

Masterpieces From Tate's Collection Travel to Oman for 40th National Day Celebration

November 26, 2010

A Journey Through British Art from World War II to the Late Sixties at Fundació Joan Miró

Cash-Strapped Bank of Ireland Auctions Off its Art Stockpile at Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel

Dinosaur Exhibit Makes World Premiere in Ohio at the Cincinnati Museum Center

Official Palestinian Report Claims Jerusalem's Western Wall Has No Religious Significance to Jews

Sotheby's Next Annual Turkish Contemporary Art Sale To Take Place on 7 April, 2011

100-Million-Year-Old New Crocodile Species Discovered by Scientists in Thailand

Philippe Parreno's First Solo Exhibition in the UK Opens at the Serpentine Gallery

Sotheby's Reveals Full Depth and Range of Works to Be Featured in "Hurouf: The Art of the World"

New Version of Film Director Tim Burton's Exhibition at Toronto International Film Festival

Five Projects Receive 2010 Aga Khan Award; Oleg Grabar Receives Chairman's Award

First Public Exhibition at Museum Brandhorst Shows Picasso: Artist's Books

Mexico City's "El Caracol" Gallery of History Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary    

Major Private Collection to Highlight Christie's Sale of American Paintings and Sculpture

Mexico Launches "Mexican Digital Library" Including Twenty Important Codices

MacDougall's Have the Top Lot of London's "Russian Week", Early Masterpiece by Ivan Shishkin

National Museum of the American Indian in New York to Inaugurate a Permanent, Hemispheric Survey of Native American Art

500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe Including Oriental Carpets Sale Results

Dinosaur Die-off Cleared way for Gigantic Mammals

Bonhams Announce the Establishment of an Aboriginal Art Department Based in Sydney

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Honours Architecture's Brightest New Stars

Years Later, Mississippi Still Lacks Civil Rights Museum

November 25, 2010

Albrecht Dürer's Adam and Eve Returns to Public Display at the Prado Museum

"An Excellent Year": 14th Edition of Paris Photo Turned the Spotlight on Central Europe

Masterpieces by Felix Vallotton to Take Centre Stage in Sotheby's Zurich Swiss Art Sale

Comedian Steve Martin Novel "An Object of Beauty" Probes New York Art World

British Museum to Manage Portable Antiquities Scheme, as Exciting New Finds Go on Display

Sotheby's London Sees Strong Prices for Spanish, Scandinavian, Orientalist and Greek Art

Julian Lennon to Show Portrait and Landscape Photographs at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center

Survey Exhibition of Important Paintings by Peter Saul at Haunch of Venison in New York

Bonhams in London Sell Hoffmeister Collection of Royal Meissen Porcelain for £3 Million

Property from the Collection of Charles Ryskamp to Be Offered During Old Masters Week

PULSE Contemporary Art Fair Announces Exhibitors and Programming for 2010 Miami Edition

Rare Vintage Photograph by Roger Fenton Saved for Bradford's National Media Museum

Christie's Sales of Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art to Offer an Impressive Array of Rare and Important Works

National Portrait Gallery Reveals Secrets Behind Exhibitions in New Teaching Website

20th Century Modern Design from the Museum of Modern Art Coming to Atlanta Next Spring

Crisis-stricken Greece Plans to Upgrade Facilities at Historic Sites and Museums to Boost Tourism

Author William Faulkner and Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson Return to Mississippi

November 24, 2010

After Much Controversy, Authenticity of Teotihuacan's "The Malinaltepec Mask" Verified

Versace's Return Painting Stolen from a London Home in 1979 to Original Owners

A Rare and Exceptional Example of the First Apple Computer Sells for $212,267 at Christie's

Rare First Edition of the Star Spangled Banner to Be Sold at Christie's in New York

Bonhams Make World Record Prices for Glass and Porcelain Chinese Snuff Bottles

John Lennon's I'm Only Sleeping Lyrics to Be Sold at Bonhams Memorabilia Auction

One Hundred Years after Mark Twain's Death, Centennial Sparks Wave of Nostalgia

Original Drawings by Some of the Greatest Illustrators of Our Time to Be Offered at Sotheby's

3rd Eye: New York University Artist Gets Camera Implanted in Head as Part of Project

Bridget Riley: Paintings and Related Work Opens at the National Gallery in London

Exhibition on Treatments and Techniques Used to Conserve Rare Works on Paper at the Getty

Israeli Scientists Drilling in Dead Sea to Unearth Treasures may Answer Scientific Questions

Ansel Adams and Cartier-Bresson Among Famous Names in New York Photography Auction

Austria Returns 7 Looted Works of Art to Their Rightful Owners or Heirs

Bonhams Appoint Deborah Allan Departmental Director of Impressionist & Modern Art

Westminster Abbey, United Kingdom Royalty's Church of Choice for 1,000 Years

Freeman's Realizes $1.5 Million on Americana & Pennsylvania Auctions

New Works by Grayson Perry to Go on Show in Manchester

Founder of Chicago's DuSable Museum Dies

Former Driver to Elderly Poet Guilty of Stealing Artworks by Andy Warhol and Francis Picabia

November 23, 2010

Hungary to Sell Communist Relics to Benefit the Victims of Last Month's Red Sludge Flood

Sotheby's Sale Establishes a World Auction Record for Painter Giuseppe Vermiglio

A 1,800 Year Old Bathing Pool was Discovered Beneath a Miqve by Israeli Archaeologists

Tradition and Innovation at the Netherlands' Art and Antiques Fair: PAN Amsterdam

The Home of Leading Scientist Who Helped Develop the 'Bouncing Bomb' to Be Sold

Science Museum in London to Debut New Permanent Climate Science Gallery

Legendary Rock Legends Pink Floyd Quadraphonic Consoles to Be Sold at Bonhams

Lisson Gallery Presents an Exhibition of New Works by Berlin-Based Artist Ceal Floyer

Connecting Cubism to an American Narrative Exhibition on View at D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc.

Luciana Brito Presents "Back to Simplicity", Including Historic Artworks, by Marina Abramovic

Collectors Respond with Highest-Ever Total for a Photography Sale at Sotheby's Paris

Ten Visionary Artists Express Themselves Around the Iconic Hennessy V.S Bottle

Master Chinese Painter Wu Guanzhong's Works Exhibited at Zhejiang Art Museum

R. Crumb, Daughter Look at Life in "Crazy Artist"

Federico Luger Presents Franklin Evans' Second Solo Exhibition at the Gallery

Reina Sofía Museum Signs Partnership Agreement with the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO)

Rolls-Royce Phantom III, Featured in Pan's Labyrinth Film, to Sell at Bonhams

Exhibition of New Work by Rachel Kneebone Presented at White Cube Hoxton Square

Bonhams to Hold its Biggest Sale of Remarkable Wine to Date

Extraordinary Opportunities for Collectors of the World's Finest Wines Presented by Christie's Hong Kong

Bonhams Appoint Deborah Allan Departmental Director of Impressionist & Modern Art

Donation of Two Works by Leading Irish Sculptor James McKenna to the Irish Museum of Modern Art

November 22, 2010

Detroit Institute of Arts Opens Exhibition that Examines Fakes, Forgeries and Mysteries

Art Gallery of Ontario Opens the Gates to India's Royal Courts in New Exhibition

Treasures of Ancient Chinese Art Return to Public View at the Freer Gallery of Art

Exhibition at Museum of Modern Art in New York Challenges Definition of Drawing

Seoul Auction to Hold Sale and a Special Exhibition of Impressionists & Modern Masters

Mix of Unseen Images and Work Selected from Previous Series by Artists at Stills Gallery

Danish-Vietnamese Artist Danh Vo Conquers x-rummet at the National Gallery of Denmark

Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney Presents Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life 1990-2005

The Work of Alex Katz Travels to North Wales as Part of 2010 Artist Rooms Tour

Beautiful Evidence: Christie's in New York to Offer the Library of Edward Tufte

Important Items from the Hanoverian Royal Family to Be Sold in Arms and Militaria Auction

Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami Presents Bruce Weber: Haiti/Little Haiti

Poppy Sebire Launches the Gallery's New Permanent Home in Southwark with New Exhibition

Laumeier Unveils New Blind Maquettes with Support From Lighthouse for the Blind - Saint Louis

Medal from Charge of the Light Brigade Offered at Bonhams

Guillotines, Scalpels and Ant Farms Provide Unique Opportunity To Reveal Unexpected Views into Architecture

Getty Conservation Institute Awarded National Science Foundation Grant to Study Ancient Greek Pottery

Notable D.C. Chefs Create Art-Inspired Birthday Cakes for the Phillips Collection's 89th Anniversary

Critically Acclaimed Gallery Renovations Continue with Two Major Fall Projects

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New Rembrandt found after being bought at London auction

2.- Exhibition at Fotohof focuses on groups in society who are at risk of marginalisation

3.- John Brennan collection of Rock n Roll memorabilia offered at RR Auction

4.- A Bob Dylan guitar fetches $495,000 at auction

5.- Exhibition in San Francisco focuses on the latter half of René Magritte's career

6.- 'Mad' king Ludwig II of Bavaria lost gift to composer Richard Wagner gets rare show

7.- New Royal Academy of Arts opens in celebration of its 250th anniversary

8.- Researchers uncover Anne Frank's 'dirty jokes'in her diary

9.- New York art sales near $3 billion in two weeks as uber-rich hunt trophies

10.- Berlin's Ethnological Museum returns grave-plundered artefacts to Alaska

Related Stories

Museum Launches Groundbreaking Explorer App to Rave Reviews

Museum Launches Groundbreaking Explorer App to Rave Reviews

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful