Almost six months since Covid-19 forced the Haworth’s doors to close, they have at last been able to reopen to the public. Today, the gallery can once again welcome visitors inside its lovely old walls.
It’s a red letter day – and one which staff and volunteers have been keenly anticipating, working hard to accommodate visitors as safely as possible.
Things will of course be slightly different – in more ways than one. During lock-down, the Haworth’s popular and long-serving Gallery Manager, Yvonne Robins, made the difficult decision to retire.
Yvonne made an enormous contribution to the gallery, overseeing the Stables Studios transformation, introducing the Haworth Artists’ Network, the free family workshop and Sunday concert programmes, and increasing visitor numbers and weddings at the Haworth. Yvonne will be greatly missed – we all wish her the very best in her future life.
Meanwhile, Curator Gillian Berry and the rest of the Haworth team are delighted to be welcoming visitors back to the gallery – with a few small but important changes to visitor protocols.
Walk-in visits are welcome, but special precautionary measures are of course in place to ensure visitor safety.
A maximum of 20 visitors are allowed at any one time in the gallery space – excluding the Gallery Kitchen, which is also open to the public.
Gallery opening hours will be from Wednesday to Sunday, from 12 noon to 4pm. The Gallery Kitchen opens from 11.30am to 4.30pm, also from Wednesday to Sunday.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and to follow the special signage and guidance. Hand sanitiser is provided and visitors are requested to use it on arrival.
Distancing is requested to the greatest extent possible between visitors.
Staff, volunteers and Friends all hope that visitors will be able to join us at the Haworth very soon – and enjoy the many delights of our loveliest of local attractions.
With Hollins Hill, the Arts and Crafts house hosting the Haworth Art Gallery, being closed for this year’s Heritage Open Days, you may be interested in visiting an Arts & Crafts Movement church instead.
St Martin’s Church, Low Marple in north Cheshire will open for two days of Heritage Open Days.
Saint Martin’s Church is a blend of early and high Arts & Crafts design. The main part of the church was built in 1870 while the The Lady Chapel and north aisle belong to the same Arts & Crafts period as Hollins Hill. The chapel even has a similar curved plaster ceiling, showing how different Arts and Crafts designers often worked in similar ways. The church contains art works by William Morris, Dante Gabrielle Rosetti, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Maddox Brown and Christopher Whall.
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 email@example.com.
Nothing to do while staying indoors or self isolating?
Why not put your feet up and enjoy this series where modern crafts people go back in time to live the life and reproduce the work of the Arts and Crafts pioneers. Click here. It’s laid back and very enjoyable.
The Arts and Crafts house where the action takes place is a relatively late example built in the early 1920s. You can see clear similarities with our Hollins Hill, aka Haworth Art Gallery in the images above.
The house is Wyndcliffe Court, which lies half a mile north of the village of St. Arvans, Monmouthshire, Wales. It is listed Grade II* and was completed in 1922
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Leader of Hynburn Borough Council Miles Parkinson has praised Haworth Art Gallery and its staff, describing the gallery as the town’s “jewel” to local news media. Cllr Parkinson’s remarks, published in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, come as the Haworth leadership prepares to renew the gallery’s Arts Council England accreditation – and looks beyond 2020.
Haworth Curator and Deputy Manager Gillian Berry describes the Arts Council accreditation as the industry standard for museums and galleries and a necessary step for the gallery if it is to seek Arts Council or National Lottery Heritage funding. Accreditation lasts for five years.
Heritage lottery funding was critical to completion of the Haworth’s Stable Studios and Motor House into artists’ studios. It has been an invaluable component of the gallery’s ongoing development as a cultural nexus for the area. Which in turn enhances the Haworth’s ability to provide an exciting and varied programme of events throughout the year.
Proposals for future developments within the gallery complex are under wraps, but its programme of improvements in recent years has included a major reconfiguration of the Tiffany showcase rooms to highlight the story of Joseph Briggs and Accrington’s connections with Tiffany’s New York art studios. As well as the stunning redevelopment of the former greenhouse, stables and motor house, the addition of the Gallery Kitchen, restaurant and bar facility has been a significant part of the gallery’s transformation.
See above and below for the Haworth’s 2020 schedule of exhibitions, workshops and live music events. Many more functions, events, workshops and classes are organised by staff and volunteers of the Gallery, the Stables Studios, the Haworth Artists’ Network and – of course – the Friends. So stay tuned to our social media for more updates!
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.
Friends of Haworth Art Gallery helped stage and narrate a delightful exhibition of the history, heritage and fine folk of Baxenden – at St John’s Church in the village. Conceived and hosted by the church, the exhibit brought together visual and oral histories, presented by local interest groups at a special launch event. The Friends focused on the Haworth’s place in Baxenden’s history and the many terrific tales from within its walls – not least, of the Haworth family.
They regaled residents with the history of the house and the fascinating lives of those who lived and worked there in its days as Hollins Hill, the private home of William and Anne Haworth. The Haworths lived in the house from 1909 to 1920, when Anne died – William predeceased her in 1913.
William was a philanthropic man. He gave generously of his time and money to many worthwhile causes and individuals in the area. He was a good employer, who paid decent wages and cared for the welfare of his workers. He was no saint, however, and didn’t suffer fools gladly. He was known to sport a sarcastic wit and a sharp tongue on occasion!
Anne was a beacon of benevolence. Although not much in the public eye, she was well known for her generosity. Like her brother, she was a well-liked employer. Her staff – once they arrived at Hollins Hill – never left, which was testament to her treatment of them.
Among her many acts of generosity, Anne donated her Wolseley car for use as Accrington’s first motorised ambulance – completely fitted out with the most state-of-the-art equipment at the time. On her death, she bequeathed the house and grounds to the people of Accrington, to be used in perpetuity as a museum and art gallery, with the grounds to become a public park. She also left bequests to every one of her staff.
Staff featured in the exhibition were Anne’s companion, Ellen Priestley; William’s valet, Abraham Whiston, who would later become Anne’s butler and subsequently the first curator of the museum; chauffeur Joseph Taylor; coachman William Beach; undergardener, Joseph Cowling, and cook, Elizabeth Shaw.
The Friends’ display also featured artifacts for visitors to see and handle, including a parasol and a silk beaded shawl, such as Anne would have worn; a top hat just like the ones William would have used; and Edwardian jewellery just like the objects Anne and Ellen would have possessed. Personal items of yesteryear, such as clogs, and period household items like laundry equipment were also on display.
The exhibition ran for nine days , in which time, almost 900 people enjoyed the displays mounted by the Friends and other exhibitors. Friends’ trustee Roger Cunliffe also had a display on the history of the mills, trams and roads in the Baxenden area near Haworth Art Gallery. It featured a model steam engine and models of trams, coaches and other vehicles that would have seen use in the local area through time.
We at the Friends enjoyed our part in the exhibition immensely. We can’t wait for the next local heritage event. Looking forward – and looking back -2021 will see the centenary of the Haworth as the town’s art gallery. Keep your eyes peeled!