A series of occasional essays by members of the Friends
Art galleries normally organize their hangs on chronological, historical, or thematic principles, and the labels which guide our looking follow established art-historical priorities and help to determine our response. Ronald Clayton, a members of the Friends comittee, here explores a rather different way that displays might be conceived and organized, in the hope of prompting a debate on these important matters.
Dr Richard Keesing, who has a long association with the Friends, writes with great enthusiasm about the life and works of a favourite painter of his, Dudley Holland (1915-1956), who for a short time was Principal of York Art School. The Gallery has a fine example of his work, entitled Transition, presented by friends of the artist in 1951.
This essay, by Charles Martindale, Interim Chair of the Friends, is concerned with a painting in the Gallery, The Portrait of Monsignor Agucchi, but it broadens out into discussion of some more general issues: problems of attribution; changing tastes; and the nature of portraiture.
In this piece written earlier in lockdown, Charles Martindale, Interim Chair, reflects on the importance of the Friends for the past and future of York Art Gallery.