by Jo Clarke, Marketing and Communications Officer

Today’s post highlights a number of collection items that we currently have out on loan. You’ll be able to see them on display over the summer if you’re visiting Exeter, Penzance or London.

Henry Collinsplatt by George Spencer WatsonThis exhibition explores the changing face of childhood from the 17th to 20th centuries and will be on display at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter until 18 November.

We have four works on loan to this exhibition. A key work is ‘The Age of Innocence’ by Joshua Reynolds. It’s one of Reynolds’ best known and most copied paintings. Dating from 1785 or 1788 it may be of his great-niece Theophila Gwatkin.

‘Henry Collinsplatt’ by George Spencer Watson (pictured right) shows a little boy in uniform.

He stares confidently out of the canvas whilst at the same time appearing vulnerably small against the stark backdrop.

We believe this portrait may have been painted to commemorate a new start – perhaps Henry’s first day of school.

‘Girl with Plaits’ by John Downton (pictured below) is also included in the exhibition and dates from around 1939. The girl’s uniform and hair create a wholesome portrait of a child and hint at hope for the future, yet at the same time her sombre expression reflects the weight of recent history. Downton was a conscientious objector during World War II and ceased to exhibit his work afterwards.

Portrait of a Girl with Plaits, John Downton - on loan to RAMM - Summer 2018

The fourth work in the exhibition is ‘Yvonne’ by Junes Miles (pictured below). It was acquired in 1965 and features the soft yet vibrant colours often found in this artist’s landscapes.

Find out more about the ‘Childhood’ exhibition here.

Yvonne by June Miles - on loan to RAMM - July 2018

Entranced by a Special Place: The Art of SJ Lamorna Birch
Winter - Roseworthy Valley, Camborne by Lamorna BirchUntil 8 September you can see ‘Winter – Roseworthy Valley, Camborne’ from our art collections in this exhibition at Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance.

This gorgeous painting is one of over 70 works of art in the exhibition that examine the life of Samuel John Lamorna Birch (1869-1955), founder and father figure of the Lamorna colony of artists and writers in West Cornwall.

You can find out all the details about this exhibition from the Penlee House Gallery and Museum’s website.

Voice and Vote: Women’s Place in Parliament

Until 6 October the outfit Nancy Astor wore on the day she was first introduced to the House of Commons is featured in this major exhibition at Westminster Hall, London.

Nancy Astor outfit with bust at Westminster Hall

In the year that marks the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 and the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918, this exhibition explores the campaign for votes for women and the representation of women in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Acts of Parliament 1918

Nancy Astor letters at Westminster HallOther items relating to Nancy Astor include a bust, letters, news cuttings, campaign documents and a large image of the painting that is part of Plymouth’s collections.

As well as recognising the struggle and success of women to date, the exhibition also highlights how far there is to go. When I visited it I was amazed to discover that the UK is only ranked 49th out of 193 countries by its percentage of female MPs, and that a third of women in this country did not vote in the last General Election.

You can read a more detailed press release about the Voice and Vote exhibition here.

You can also find out more about it and the ‘Vote 100’ anniversary here.

Keep an eye on our website for details of other ‘Collections On Tour’ as they are confirmed!