10 valuable Weston-super-Mare paintings which need YOUR help to preserve them
PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:23 12 June 2017
Sanctuary - or The Ever Open Door by Alfred Leete, 1914. Support needed: £75. This is one of a series of sensitive sketches made during the war. It shows Belgian refugees arriving in England. When Germany invaded Belgium in 1914 over 21,000 Belgians came to England as refugees. (North Somerset Council and South West Heritage Trust, 2017.)
North Somerset Council and South West Heritage Trust, 2017.
A valuable collection of 60 paintings will need essential conservation work to ensure the artworks are protected from damage when they are displayed in Weston Museum.
Florence Pigott, by John Hayls, c. 1660. Support needed: £1,303.387. Florence was the daughter of John Poulett of Hinton St George. She married twice, first to Thomas Smyth of Ashton Court and then to Thomas Pigott of Brockley Court. Florence had 15 children, nine with her first husband and six with her second. (Picture: North Somerset Council and South West Heritage Trust, 2017.)
But £17,000 needs to be spent on the important collection before it can be hung in the museum when it re-opens after a £1.1million refurbishment.
Work by significant Weston artists need protecting, including pieces by Alfred Leete who is best known for his iconic Your Country Needs You poster, created during World War One.
The works tell the story of Weston’s history from the 1600s to the present day, showing its transformation from a small village with around 100 inhabitants to its rise as a popular tourist resort.
Football Russian Style by Alfred Leete in around 1915. Support needed: £75. This cartoon shows a violent game of Russian-style football. It is a satirical piece of wartime commentary, depicting the Russians as violent and chaotic. (Picture: North Somerset Council and South West Heritage Trust, 2017.)
Conservators are trying to raise £8,672 by inviting members of the public to ‘adopt a picture’ for as little as £75 to ensure the art can be restored to exhibition standard.
The work has to be completed by the end of July, so the funding needs to be in place by the end of June.
When the paintings are ready for display, donors will receive framed prints of their chosen pictures along with invitations to a private preview before the museum opens in August.
John Hugh Wadham Smyth-Pigott by unidentified artist, 1850. Support needed: £783.40. John Hugh Wadham Pigott Smyth-Pigott spent very little time in Weston. After his fathers death in 1853 he began to sell off family land in Weston to generate income. The land was used to build houses and other facilities for residents and visitors. (Picture: North Somerset Council and South West Heritage Trust, 2017)
Assistant curator Amal Khreisheh said: “Collectively these artworks provide an invaluable resource for North Somerset. They supply important information about local people, places and events.
“The conservation work will be undertaken by professional conservators who work on the principle everything they do must be reversible.
“They carefully document their work as they go, recording any treatments they have used, so future curators and conservators can fully understand the artworks’ histories.”
Portishead B Power Station by Tristram Hillier in 1956. Support needed: £751.80. Portishead B Power Station supplied electricity from 1955 to 1982. It had 12 steam boilers, eight of them fired with coal and four with oil. Tristram Hillier was a surrealist painter who settled in Somerset in 1943. (North Somerset Council and South West Heritage Trust, 2017)
The work will include checking the paint surface for any instability, treating the frames, and filling in missing mouldings.
The works on canvas and paper will be given low-reflect glass to protect the paint surface from damage. They will also be given new backboards to prevent dust and dirt becoming trapped in the art.
Some of the paintings will be on public display for the first time when they are shown in August.
The arms of the Borough of Weston-super-Mare, 1937. Support needed: £2,000. In 1937 Weston-super-Mare achieved borough status and was granted a coat of arms. The two supporters on either side of the arms represent a fisherman and an ancient Briton. (North Somerset Council and South West Heritage Trust, 2017.)
Anyone interested in donating can choose their preferred paintings by contacting Amal on 07495 545918 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cross And The Crescent by Alfred Leete, 1914. Support needed: £75. Alfred Leete designed the most iconic image of the First World War showing Lord Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War. Throughout the conflict Alfred Leete produced comic cartoons which poked fun at the Germans and their allies. He also recorded poignant scenes of wartime life. This painting shows a Turkish soldier weighed down by the giant cross hanging around his neck. It implies that Turkey has bowed to pressure from Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
(North Somerset Council and South West Heritage Trust, 2017.) The Flying Dutchman At Sea by Thomas Harker, 1876. Support needed: £378.80. The Flying Dutchman carried passengers from Exeter in Devon to Paddington Station in London. This painting shows the train on the Bridgwater to Durston section of the line. It was just as prone to flooding then as it is today. Thomas Harker worked as an inspector and passenger guard on the Great Western Railway. He was a keen amateur artist.
(North Somerset Council and South West Heritage Trust, 2017.) Thomas Pigott by John Hayls, 1660. Support needed: £1,322.85. Thomas Pigott married Florence Smyth in 1647. Their marriage was the first of three between the wealthy Smyth and Pigott families. Popular legend says that the family could travel from Weston to Bristol without leaving their own land!(North Somerset Council and South West Heritage Trust, 2017.) Train crash near Flax Bourton by Thomas Harker, 1876. Support needed: £378.80. In 1876 the Flying Dutchman was the fastest train in the world. It could travel at speeds of up to 80 miles an hour. On 27 July it crashed near Flax Bourton, 14 miles from Weston-super-Mare. Two people died and 18 were seriously injured. The accident was caused by the poor state of the track.
(Picture: North Somerset Council and South West Heritage Trust, 2017)
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