Portrait of a Black Gardener Launch Event
Tuesday 29 October 2013, 18.00-21.00
Portrait of a Black Gardener by Harold Gilman
The Garden Museum and the Black Environment Network is pleased to invite you to a launch event to mark the acquisition of a painting by Harold Gilman, Portrait of a Black Gardener. The painting has been acquired in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society and the two organisations will share in exhibiting it.
This painting is a rare example of a portrait of a gardener, yet the pose also suggests that he might actually be an artist’s model. Painted by Harold Gilman in 1905, the identity of the sitter for this portrait is unknown.
The evening will begin with the opportunity to view the painting, and an introduction from Christopher Woodward, Director of the Garden Museum and Wesley Kerr, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund London Committee. Dr Jan Marsh of the National Portrait Gallery will discuss her work looking at the representation of black people in British art and Jeffrey Green will talk about the history of Victorian and Edwardian gardeners of African descent, based on research for his book Black Edwardians. Judy Ling Wong of the Black Environment Network will conclude the event talking about the potential for telling more diverse stories using the collections of the Garden Museum.
Independent historian Jeffrey Green has written on the pre-1940s black presence in Britain for thirty years. His books include “Black Edwardians” (1998) and “Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, A Musical Life” (2011). He has participated in international conferences and contributed to reference books, television and radio programmes including “Swinging Into the Blitz” (BBC TV, 2013).
Dr Jan Marsh
After studying English literature at Cambridge, Jan Marsh undertook postgraduate studies in social studies at LSE, and a PhD exploring poetry and culture 1900-1914 at the University of Sussex. Her first book was a critical biography of Edward Thomas, followed by the cultural history of the late Victorian Back-to-the-Land movement, and then Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, a keynote inquiry into gender relations in the nineteenth-century art world. In 2003-4 she held a Leverhulme Research Fellowship at the National Portrait Gallery, researching the representation of men and women of African ancestry in the 19th century, in preparation for the exhibition Black Victorians (Manchester 2005, Birmingham 2006). Currently president of the William Morris Society, a trustee of the William Morris Gallery and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, her latest project involved co-editing the Collected Letters of Jane Morris.
This painting was bought in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society and with the kind assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Monument Trust and the Art Fund.
We would be delighted if you should like to attend this free event. Please RSVP to Faiza Mahmood: firstname.lastname@example.org
Collections and Project Curator
Lambeth Palace Road
T: 020 7401 8865 *825