Thursday 7 December 2023

More Russell-Cotes

I have several favorite paintings at the Russell-Cotes. Two of them, and the painted ceiling, are in the small morning room.
The blue painting called,'War Profiteers'was painted in 1917. It is by C.R. Nevinson who, as a pacifist, worked as an ambulance driver during the first World War before becoming an official war artist. It was gifted to the museum in 1940. In 1941, during the Second World War a blast from a German parachute mine brought down the whole of the morning room ceiling and a competition was held to design a replacement. This was won by the Scottish artist, Anna Zinkelsen. She painted the ceiling in panels in her Kensington studio and they were then brought to Bournemouth and fixed by means of a wooden framework. Anna trained at the Royal Academy Schools in London. She was employed as a war artist and the paintings that she and her sister, Doris, made during that period are fascinating. They include studies of war injuries for the Royal College of Surgeons. Photos and pictures of Anna show her to be a very elegant woman!
I couldn't get a good photo of the other painting that I like in the morning room. It is called, 'Spray', painted in 1940 by Harold Williamson who at that time was Painting Master at the Bournemouth College of Art. It shows a swimmer sitting on a rock as the sea swells beneath her. Hanging in another room is a large painting by Alfred Munnings who is famous for his equestrian studies and his boorish character. He is depicted in the book and film, 'Summer in February.'
I like the work of Atkinson-Grimshaw, and not just because my maiden name was Atkinson! They have a lovely example of his work at the museum, but as I've already mentioned some of it is very hard to photograph because the lighting is appropriate for a house but not for a gallery. I had a go from several angles.
There is rich decoration everywhere.
Ceilings have stars or stained glass skylights. Even the smallest room is highly decorated!
And here are the owners of this very grand house.


  1. Thank you for sharing all these beautiful works of art, I like the painting of the horse as I adore horses.

  2. The Atkinson-Grimshaw painting "speaks" to me like none of the others. It reminds me very much of a winter walk O.K. and I undertook in January 2022. If you look at this post and scroll down to the last few pictures, you will see what I mean:
    As for the richly decorated rooms, they are lovely to look at, but I wouldn't want to live there - imagine how much time the dusting and cleaning would take :-D

  3. You wouldn't need to lift a finger if the house were yours, all the dusting would be taken care of!
    You can really feel the temperature in Atkinson-Grimshaw paintings, they describe places that you feel you know.

  4. I remember setting out for an exhibition in Hammersmith, the two of us intent on buying a painting whatever happened. Forty or so years ago. I felt that this was a significant event. Perhaps nothing more than marking our ascent into the lower levels of the middle classes. Perhaps - more crassly - the realisation that we now had money to spend on what many would regard as pure indulgence. Other paintings have followed and four or five years we crossed a significant cash barrier which I dare not reveal; like most Englishman I would rather divulge details of my sex life than my baronial estate. I envy your approach in that it seems structured and much better informed. Ours is somewhat random. As a feeble gesture of self-defence I offer the figure (unrevealed, of course) I spend on music.