From the Highlands to Hampshire: Collecting Joan Eardley

I am delighted to have edited an Art UK curation, ‘From the Highlands to Hampshire: Collecting Joan Eardley‘ as part of the Joan Eardley Centenary celebrations.

Joan Eardley (1921-63), Children and Chalked Wall No. 2, 1963
Abbot Hall, Kendal (Lakeland Arts Trust) (c) The Estate of Joan Eardley

Art UK

Art UK is an amazing research resource. It describes itself as the ‘online home for every public art collection in the UK‘. On it you will find images and information about all the paintings in UK public collections and they are starting to add works on paper and sculpture too. During lockdown, they introduced the ‘Curations‘ tool. This makes it possible for everyone to become a digital curator, by selecting and interpreting works on the site, which you can publish if you like.

Joan Eardley (1921-63), A Field by the Sea – Summer, c.1962
Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture, Edinburgh, (c) The Estate of Joan Eardley

Collecting Joan Eardley

As a member of SWARN, the Scottish Women and the Arts Research Network, I have been involved with discussions about how to celebrate the birth of Joan Eardley (1921-63) one hundred years ago. I became interested in where her work could be seen and Art UK revealed that there are paintings by her in thirty-six UK public collections, from Inverness Museum & Art Gallery in the Highlands, to the National Trust property Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire. I worked with the curators of all the collections involved to reveal the stories behind each acquisition!

For information about Eardley Centenary activities, please see the artist’s and SWARN websites and social media accounts, as well as the tags #Eardley100 and #SWARN. I gave a paper based on the curation research at the ‘Joan Eardley: New Perspectives‘ symposium organised by Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, which you can read about here. I have written ‘stories’ and other ‘curations’ for Art UK which you can find here. If you’re interested in modern Scottish women artists you might enjoy this blog.

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