Elves have left the building!!

Elf Liz and visitors to see Santa

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!

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.

Gallery and Kitchen temporarily closed during current lock-down

We are sad to announce that the Haworth Art Gallery and the Gallery Kitchen are temporarily closed during the current lockdown.  We await to hear further government guidance on re-opening.

However, the parkland surrounding the buildings remain open to the public and are are looking lovely in their autumnal colours.

 

A warm welcome – with a twist – awaits

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.

Yvonne Robins retired as Gallery Manager during lock-down. Yvonne oversaw the Haworth’s Stables Studios transformation and a large increase in the gallery’s visitor numbers.

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.

The Haworth’s doors are once again open to visitors – we hope to see you soon!

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.

Welcome back!

Something different for Heritage Open Days?

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.

Friday 18 September 2020, 14.00-18.00

Saturday 19 September 2020, 10.00-15.00

St.Martin’s Church, Brabyns Brow, Marple Bridge, Marple, Stockport SK6 5DT

Next to Marple Railway Station.

Covid-secure arrangements observed.

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.

Spring has Sprung in Haworth Park

By Jean Emmett – A Walk in the Park

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.

Jean Emmett

Haworth centenary: what’s in store?

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!

“This can’t last. This misery can’t last.” Laura Jesson, Brief Encounter.

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.

Mayoral insignia from the inception of Accrington Corporation, showing the lovely Town and Market Halls.

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 Brief Encounter 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.

Joseph Briggs, the local lad who became MD of Tiffany Studios and gifted his town the largest Tiffany collection outside the US.

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 haworthaccrington@gmail.com.

The Victorian House of Arts and Crafts

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

Stitching for sisterhood at Aawaz Accrington this International Women’s Day

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 haworthaccrington@gmail.com

 

2020 vision: Haworth is jewel in the town, says council leader, as staff look to future

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!