Marking the bicentenary of John Ruskin's birth, this exhibition celebrates the legacy of the artist, critic and polymath's ideas and vision.
Bringing together over 190 paintings, drawings, daguerreotypes, metal work, and plaster casts, this exhibition illustrates how Ruskin’s attitude to aesthetic beauty shaped his radical views on culture and society, and reveals how his influence is still felt today in current debates on arts, education, the economy and the environment.
Fundamentally, Ruskin wanted to make Britain a better place to live. A staunch advocate of life-long-learning and the importance of observation and close-looking, he believed progress could be made by making art, books and cultural treasures available to all. With the help of the Guild of St George, the educational organisation which he founded in 1871, Ruskin created an eclectic collection of watercolours, drawings, prints, plaster casts, minerals, illustrated books, and manuscripts, and established a museum to display them in Sheffield.
This is the first time Ruskin’s remarkable collection will be shown en masse outside Sheffield, featuring examples of his own work alongside paintings, drawings and photographs by Ruskin’s contemporaries including JMW Turner, George Frederic Watts and John Wharlton Bunney.
The exhibition also features newly commissioned works including a site-specific installation by Timorous Beasties, a new moving image piece by Dan Holdsworth and contributions from artists Hannah Dowling and Emilie Taylor which will explore Ruskin’s contemporary legacy.