Thursday, 25 September 2014
Allen Seaby 'Art & Nature' at Reading Museum
To add to the list of early C20th British colour print artists with new exhibitions and books, we now have the most deserving so far. Following Sydney Lee, Eric Slater and Leonard Beaumont, an exhibition of Seaby's work opens at Reading Museum on 11th October, 2014, and runs until 22nd March, 2015. So, you have ample warning and plenty of time to go.
This is far from being his first solo exhibition at Reading (where he taught for many years) but I am not going to give away details here. The museum hold a good collection of Seaby's colour woodcuts and gouaches and no one should assume that only colour prints will go on show. It will be very interesting to see what they do exhibit. Seaby was an indifferent painter; not only that, his colour woodcuts over a very long career were uneven and not everything was as sublime as Heron, a print made when I think he was at his best around 1905 to 1910. But I don't want to prejudge a show, which most people with a serious interest in colour woodcut will want to see.
As part of this concerted push on Seaby , there is a book, to be published in mid October (the publication is delayed) and written by Martin Andrews with the help of Seaby's grandson, the linocut artist, Robert Gillmor. I've not had my copy yet but Andrews did a meticulous job on Robert Gibbings some years ago and I know that Robert Gillmor has long wanted his grandfather's work to gain the recognition it deserves. I will be posting a review just as soon as I've read it. In the mean time, if you can't wait, you can buy a copy online from Two Rivers Press at £12.99 plus postage. It has 76 pages, they will send it anywhere and they aren't expensive, but you will need a PayPal account to buy it from their website.
Take my advice and buy your Seabys now. You certainty won't be able to afford him after all this.