The Picture Gallery was recognised as an outstanding piece of modern architecture and listed Grade II* on the 24th April 1998. The architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner described the Picture Gallery
“as a subtle and attractively detailed building which, while being entirely in the Modern idiom, fits with great sensitivity into its important historical setting.”
This important event was marked by two exhibitions - one of Old Master drawings,selected by the Gallery’s previous Curators, and the other a documentation of the history of Powell and Moya’s prize-winning purpose-built construction.
A catalogue was published to accompany the 40th anniversary celebrations of Christ Church Picture Gallery. The publication combines two celebratory exhibitions – one of Old Master drawings selected by the Gallery’s previous Curators and the other documenting the history of Powell and Moya’s prize-winning purpose-built construction in which it is housed (28th June – 29th October 2008).
The catalogue is unique among exhibition catalogues, containing essays by a group of art historians, united through Christ Church Picture Gallery. Rather than purely academic essays from their field of research the contributors reminisce about their early careers in the Picture Gallery. At a time of growing interest in art, museums and the history of collections, these accounts are enlightening and entertaining. The individual essays are followed by a personal choice of drawings from Christ Church’s Old Master collection. Including such outstanding works as The Archer by an anonymous French artist of around 1400, The Deposition by Pontormo; Leonardo da Vinci’s Grotesque Head; Verrocchio’s Head of a Woman, (which recently has been described as the most beautiful object in the possession of Christ Church); the idiosyncratic Jacone; the recently acquired Giaquinto - as well as Tintoretto, Raphael, Michelangelo, Bernini and many more.
The contributors to this project, listed in chronological order of their tenure at the Picture Gallery, are:
Christopher Lloyd (1967 – 1968), former Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures (1988-2005).
John Christian (1968 – 1974), consultant to Christie’s and an authority on Victorian painting.
Jon Whiteley (1975 – 1978), Senior Assistant Keeper at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
David Alston (1978 – 1982), Arts Director for the Arts Council of Wales.
Joanna Woodall (1982 – 1985), Senior Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.
Catherine Whistler (1985 – 1988), Senior Assistant Keeper at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Lucy Whitaker (1989 – 1996), Assistant Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures.
Christopher Baker (1997 – 2003), Chief Curator and Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Scotland.
Jacqueline Thalmann (2003 – ), the current Curator of the Picture Gallery at Christ Church, Oxford.
The beautifully produced catalogue can be purchased from the Gallery at £19.95.
Click on the images above to download pdf a copy of the Press Release.
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