The McDowall Collection of British Neo-Romantic Art

Date: Sat 19 Nov 2016 - Sat 28 Jan 2017
Time: 10 am

This exhibition runs from November 19th until January 28th

A fusion of romantic themes and modernist ideas arose in Britain in the mid 20th century. The resulting neo-romantic movement provided a passionate, poetic language in which artists could express the ‘spirit’ of a place or figure and explore its significance beyond the purely visual.

Nicolas and Frances McDowall have been collecting neo-romantic art for over forty years and their Trustees have now agreed to deposit over 100 of their best works with the County Museum on long loan. To celebrate the partnership  this exhibition of around sixty works drawn from their collection shows the influence of the 19th century Romantic artists, William Blake and Samuel Palmer, and charts the rise of neo-romanticism through the work of Paul Nash, John Piper, Graham Sutherland, Ceri Richards and others in the 1930s. It continues into the 1940s and 50s with artists such as John Minton, Keith Vaughan and John Craxton.

Through their handmade private press publications at the Old Stile Press, the McDowalls have worked with artists such as Rigby Graham and Clive Hicks-Jenkins to whom neo-romanticism is still relevant.

This touring exhibition was curated and first shown by Rupert Otten at Monnow Valley Arts in 2015 and is accompanied by a 72 page colour catalogue and a new series of specially printed postcards

Main image:  Head of a Sleeping Fisherman by John Craxton, 1949     © Estate of John Craxton