A visit from our very own Friends Group member and ex-teacher, Linda Fisk, provided a fun packed history lesson for Year 3 at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Accrington.
Teacher, Miss Dawes, contacted the Friends of the Haworth Art Gallery to ask if someone could visit the school to deliver a talk for the children to help them learn about the history of the gallery and the people who lived there when it was called Hollins Hill. Miss Dawes was also keen for Year 3 children finding out more about the Tiffany Glass Collection.
During her visit to the school, Linda provided a lively and interactive session for the children who were able to see pictures from over 100 years ago of Hollins Hill Farm area, William and Anne Haworth and the beautiful house they had built which we now all know as the Haworth Art Gallery. Wearing a full Edwardian dress complete with gloves and broach, Linda was able to bring a little bit of living history into the classroom and some of the children were able to have a go at trying some of the clothing adornments of the time, like a top hat & collar and ladies chokers made from lace and beads.
A couple of weeks after the school visit by Linda, the lucky Year 3 class visited the Haworth Art Gallery with their teacher and had their own private tour by the Gallery Manager and Curator Gillian Berry. Here they were able to see the Tiffany Glass collection and hear all about local lad Joseph Briggs who made his way to the top of the Tiffany company and sent precious and unique pieces of glass back to Accrington when the company wound down in 1933.
Year 3 teacher, Miss Dawes, commented on the experience, “My class have absolutely loved learning about the history of the Haworth Art Gallery. They had already developed some knowledge at school but when Linda came to visit us, they developed a wealth of knowledge that they can now recall confidently. We celebrated all the learning we did by attending a trip to the gallery and the children had a fantastic day. They thoroughly enjoyed the art workshops provided by the gallery and they found it amazing to see their learning come to life!”
Some of the Year 3 pupils wrote; “Linda taught me lots and I remember her telling me lots of facts about Joseph Briggs. I learnt that he went to America and came back to Accrington to share the Tiffany Glass.” Keagan
“I loved it when Linda came to visit us because we got to see photographs of William and Anne.” Greta “I liked it when we went to the gallery because we got to see a lot of new things that we hadn’t seen before!” Mckenzie. The Friends of Haworth Art Gallery and Gallery Staff really enjoyed engaging with the children at Sacred Heart and would like to thank the teacher Miss Dawes for her initial idea and involvement in this educational outreach activity.
Studying Cultural Heritage Management is definitely one of the most rewarding fields to study; not everyone is able to learn how heritage, museums, galleries are managed and, most importantly, how important it is to create a bond between them and society. Since I started this MA at the University of York it has granted me new knowledge regarding heritage and collections management, and, through the writing of essays and heritage plans I have been able to put this newly gained knowledge into use. However, although this was rewarding, the actual experience of working within a heritage space was missing.
That’s why I was very thankful and excited to find a placement with Haworth Art Gallery during the Easter holidays. At first I hesitated a bit due to the fact that I would have to travel every day from York to Accrington, but now I can say all those early mornings have been completely worth it! This has been one of the most rewarding and amazing experiences I’ve had since I started the MA.
My first impression of the building was simply WOOW, and that was just by looking at it on the website; of course it didn’t disappoint once I was actually on site. The gallery is based in an astonishing old English house located at the top of a hill, surrounded by a lovely park which grants you a fantastic outdoorsy environment and landscape. However, all these outdoors settings have nothing compared to what is awaiting you inside of the house. The whole gallery is filled with gorgeous paintings and various objects created by local artists, which really gives you a glimpse into Accrington’s history; not to mentioned the Tiffany glass collection which is classified as an international collection.
One of my first jobs here was the inventory and re-packing of the ceramic and glass objects in one of the stores. Thanks to this now I have more experience in how objects are classified and stored, not to mention that I have discovered so many really amazing objects in there and I have had the opportunity to look at them up-close.
Another task I have been able to perform, and definitely one of my favourites, was learning how paintings of different sizes are stored onto racks. We were able to re-hang eight paintings in the store, where, again, I got to see up-close very nice art pieces created by local artists and experience being on the inside of an actual object store in a gallery.
Furthermore, I was invited to attend to a planning meeting, where some future exhibitions and workshops were discussed. It was very interesting to see how these matters are planned and how much work, collaboration with other fields and planning is done behind the scenes. Even as a student in this subject, it is hard to realise sometimes all the work involved to bring an exhibition to life.
Overall, this placement has been a one-time life experience. I can truly say my knowledge in the field has increased, I now realise that working in a place like this is way more complex and time consuming than it seems. Being able to work close up with the collections and handle heritage pieces, discover all kinds of interesting objects, and work side by side with the managers of the gallery has given me the opportunity to actually put my MA knowledge into practice. Thanks to Haworth Art Gallery, I now feel more prepared to start a career in the heritage sector.
Haworth Art Gallery is one of the most interesting galleries I have been to, it highlights the importance of Accrington’s history and roots. Not to mention that the management team have some great ideas to integrate and make visitors interact more with the collections. Thanks to this placement I feel very happy and honoured to say I was able to work at, and be part of, this gallery.
The only thing I have left to say is thank you, thank you Alison and Gillian for accepting and guiding me through this placement; you have made me feel very welcome. Thanks to all the staff members and volunteers, I have truly enjoyed my time working alongside you, as well as all those chats and brews! I am really looking forward to coming back once the gallery is back open!
Friends group members, volunteers and gallery staff have been busy over the past few months, (Covid restrictions allowing), uncovering treasures from within the darkest recesses of the Haworth Art Gallery store rooms and archives.
Last week’s finds included some beautiful ornamental vases, some gilded in gold or glazed in vibrant colours, some depicting fearsome characters, were brought down from safe storage in the attic along with incense burners and other exquisitely crafted pieces.
Friends group members Jean and Harry Emmett in particular have recently played a part in supporting staff in finding, identifying and recording artefacts that make up part of the bequest left to the people of Accrington by sister and brother, Anne and William Haworth. Jean and Harry were among a number of the Friends group who have received object handling training by Deputy Manager and Curator, Alison Iddon, enabling them to safely unpack and record details of the objects, as well as take a few photographic shots.
Part of the work being undertaken as regards these buried treasures is to decide which of these pieces we can display in the upcoming centenary exhibition due to start in July later this year. There are so many beautiful artefacts that the gallery simply does not have the space to display all of them all of the time, along with it’s collection of Tiffany Glass and popular temporary exhibitions.
Some of the more unusual objects include an ivory figurine of a snake charmer and an ivory calling card holder. Obviously these days we are more enlightened as regards ivory, but it was often used for decorative purposes in previous centuries. Thankfully, the trade in ivory is now banned worldwide and only items dated before 1947 can be displayed and traded. The items pictured here were acquired by the Haworths sometime in the late 1890s – early 1900s and we show them here as pieces of historical interest and an insight into the culture of our past.
The Friends look forward to greeting visitors old and new to the exhibition in July, if lifting of restrictions go ahead as planned. Let’s keep everything crossed!
What is normally an indoor event was held outdoors for the first time at the Haworth Art Gallery yesterday.
A ‘doorway grotto’ had been created for a socially distanced Santa and his Elves to welcome everyone who came to visit. Children were able to talk to Santa and take a present from the ‘Nice’ box if they said they’d been good. Amazingly, all the children had been good this year, (what are the odds?) which is just as well, as the ‘Naughty’ box was empty!
There was a great turnout for the event with a grand total of 254 in attendance. Thank you to everyone who came along braving the cold and creating a cheerful atmosphere, even in the long queue.
A big pat on the back to all the Gallery staff and Friends group members who organised and hosted the event and a special mention to Elf Liz, who spent the whole time outside entertaining children and their families while they were waiting their turn to see Santa.
On behalf of the Haworth Art Gallery, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, even if it is a bit scaled down this year. Stay safe folks and all the best for the New Year.
Snowy scenes in the Haworth Art Gallery grounds this week. I happened to walk past when Curator and Deputy Manager, Alison Iddon, was taking a few snaps on her phone from one of the upstairs windows.
Although the gallery is currently closed to the public due to Tier 3 restrictions, the shop is open Wednesday – Friday 12 – 4pm selling lots of beautiful gifts and cards. The shop can be accessed via the main front door in the photo. There is also a ‘phone and collect’ service, Tel. 01254 233782 mid-week.
The Haworth Park has remained open throughout the Covid pandemic and looks lovely whatever the season! The picture below and the cover photo are courtesy of Harry Emmett.
Walking through Haworth Park at the moment is delightful. The birds are singing their hearts out and they are very audible as there is little traffic noise and very few people in the park. I even saw a nuthatch in one of the trees. They are usually secretive and difficult to spot. The trees are coming into leaf and there are spring flowers about. It’s good to take a moment to look and watch. Butterflies are fluttering around and even the squirrels are being more adventurous.
This week the gardeners have been busy taking out straggly bushes. I asked if they were planting more or maybe wild flowers, but the powers that be have decided to grass over where the bushes were. I suppose it’s easier for maintenance, but not as good for the soul!
It was interesting seeing the gardeners with a JCB trying to pull out the stumps. The driver couldn’t see where the stumps were for the bucket on the front of the digger. He was being instructed by another gardener – back a bit, forward a bit, down a bit, close the bucket, PULL. The stumps did come out eventually, but each took a while.
The gallery of course is closed, but it’s presence is felt as you walk round. Really can’t wait for it to open again. It is greatly missed.
I hope all the staff are staying well. Look forward to seeing them all again when this covid crisis is over.
The Haworth’s centenary as Accrington’s art gallery – the jewel in the town – is just around the corner. The fascinating photograph above was taken in 1921, the year the building was opened to the public. What a decorous entourage assembled for the occasion!
As the Haworth staff and Friends volunteers prepare to mark the 100th anniversary (watch this space!), we’ve been hard at work documenting the gallery’s two major artwork stores, uncovering and preserving important artefacts in the permanent collection, many of which will help shape the event.
Our featured photograph was among the hundreds of items in the building’s watercolour store, work on which has been ongoing for the past year, documenting and assessing the condition of each item.
Among the many lovely discoveries were several sheet music albums belonging to William and Anne Haworth. At least one album, bearing William’s monogram and the date 1902, pre-dates the era when the Haworths lived in the house, then known as Hollins Hill. Friends’ member Frances Prince, leader of the Red Rose Singers, is cataloguing this music, with plans for the group to perform some of it in the 2021 anniversary celebrations. The centenary exhibition will chart the story of the house and celebrate the people who lived and worked here from 1909 to 1920.
In addition to all the fantastic photographs and artwork, the store holds a variety of paper-based works, including cartoons, architectural drawings and copies of the documents and correspondence relating to the building of the house,
Among them was this illuminated manuscript (left), recording the bestowal of the mayoral insignia at the first meeting of the newly formed Accrington Corporation in 1878.
Also in this store is the original photograph album of the house from 1921, after Anne died and bequeathed the house to the Corporation. It shows the rooms and furnishings as they were when the house was her home. A copy of the album, sponsored by the Friends, is available at the Haworth reception desk for all visitors to see. Make sure to have a look on your next visit.
A romantic pen and ink sketch (above right) from the watercolour store suggests a BriefEncounter moment; a bittersweet image of an Edwardian-era couple, parting ways as his train prepares to leave. Also in this collection is a photographic portrait of Joseph Briggs (below right), who donated the vast majority of the Haworth’s Tiffany collection to his hometown.
In the early days of 2020, gallery staff, aided by eight volunteers, emptied the gallery’s oil store. Tasked with documenting and assessing the gallery’s more physically substantial works and re-hanging them in a more accessible order – we recorded each painting’s position in the store for ease of management.
Next on our list is documenting the Haworth’s extensive collection of art books, detailing works from Goya to Rembrandt and beyond.
Many of the works in these two stores will inform and illustrate the forthcoming anniversary exhibition, which will be a significant feature of the Haworth’s programme of events next year.
Looking ahead to 2021 has become a luminous objective. We very much hope to see you all there.
*If you’d like to help us realise any of our projects, or perhaps have information about any aspect of the gallery or its heritage – no matter how small – please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A warm welcome and creative crafting were the order of the day at Aawaz, Accrington this week. Friends’ member and Haworth crafting queen Bee Daly led a lovely ‘Slow Stitching’ project as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.
Each designing to her own theme, members had a chance to try out creative embroidery and decorative sewing under Bee’s expert tutelage. Swathes of fabrics, buttons, beads and coloured thread were kindly provided by Bee and the Haworth.
The stiching project continued over three days and these are just a few of the lovely works created by women who participated.
The Friends are funding materials to create a decorative wall hanging, combining all the panels.
A well-established, Hyndburn-based charity. Aawaz, which means ‘voice’ in Urdu, aims to improve the lives of south Asian women and their families, and to help create harmonious, equal and cohesive communities.
Aawaz Centre Manager Zulekha Dala said the project had been very popular with members and that they would like to continue to collaborate on future events.
In the near term, Haworth Art Gallery manager Yvonne Robins invited Aawaz members to a private tour of the Haworth one morning in March.
Wonderful work, everyone!
*To get involved, become a Friend of Haworth Art Gallery, or just learn more about the Friends’ activities, contact us at email@example.com
A group of Haworth volunteers, Friends and staff have received training in performing CPR and using a defibrillator, thanks to Lancashire Adult Learning which provided a free workshop delivered in house especially for us at the Haworth Art Gallery.
Following a joint venture with Friends, gallery and restaurant staff to raise money last year, we now have a 24 hour public access defibrillator in the gallery grounds.* A number of Haworth employees are already trained in CPR but new members, Friends and volunteers welcomed the opportunity to take part in a session delivered by a professional trainer and ex-nurse.
The session was well attended and the group learned about essential information regarding cardiac arrest and heart attacks. There was also the opportunity for hands-on practice with the resuscitation mannequins and defibrillator machines. Feedback for the session was very positive with all agreeing that it was pitched just at the right level and we came away feeling much more informed and confident about how to perform CPR and use a defibrillator on adults and children.
Defibrillators come with clear instructions and often have audio messages to assist the user. However, in the heat of the moment it may be quite daunting and therefore having previous experience and knowing what to expect when using a defibrillator might make a significant difference.
Lancashire Adult Learning offer FREE Lifesaver courses throughout the year at venues around Lancashire.
For more information or to book on a session please contact them on: 0333 003 1717
Or you can enrol online at www.lal.ac.uk
*The Haworth’s defibrillator can be found on the exterior side wall of the main gallery building, adjacent to the Hollins Lane entrance.