Visit to Abbot Hall and Blackwell

Posted on Thursday 12th April 2012

Francis Towne, Lake Windermere

On 29 March 25 LAF members plus Leeds Art Gallery curator, Ted Wilkins, travelled to Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal to view the exhibition Turner and his Contemporaries: The Hickman Bacon Watercolour Collection. The pictures had been acquired by Sir Hickman Bacon more than 100 years ago, and included some rarely-seen examples by Turner, Girtin and Cotman. The works had been infrequently displayed with the result that their colours remained as fresh and vibrant as the day they were painted - a remarkable experience when we had all become so accustomed to the faded appearance on most watercolours of that period.

Our next stop was at Blackwell - the Arts and Crafts house designed by architect Baillie Scott, which occupies an enviable site on a hillside overlooking Lake Windermere. Built in 1900 as a rural holiday retreat for Manchester industialist Sir Edward Holt, the house is a sublime example of Arts and Crafts architecture and decorative arts.

Tea on the terrace, overlooking a sparkling Lake Windermere, was the perfect conclusion to our day.