17th Jul 2021
18th Dec 2021
Artist of Hope is an exhibition of stunning work by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Evelyn De Morgan which features 45 of her symbolic paintings. Alongside these artworks are stories of people from Lancashire who have served on the frontline at different times in history. The show has been curated with the help of community partners including Blind Veterans UK, Child Action North West, local Syrian refugees and asylum seekers, and nurses from Royal Blackburn Hospital.
Defying the conventions of the deeply conservative Victorian society she was raised in, Evelyn De Morgan dared to be different and studied at the prestigious Slade School of Art, before being invited to exhibit at the exclusive Grosvenor Gallery when she was just 20 years old. This was an astonishing achievement for a woman at the time. Her hope for a feminist future is highlighted in the paintings on display in the exhibition.
Hopeful symbols we recognise – rainbows, light, dawn – make De Morgan’s paintings relevant to our shared experience of navigating the pandemic.
Alongside De Morgan’s oil paintings and pastel works, Towneley Hall’s own mysterious painting, Destiny by John William Waterhouse is also on display as it was painted for the artist’s war fund, and a sketch for The Golden Stairs by Edward Burne-Jones is included to showcase De Morgan’s Pre-Raphaelite contemporaries.
Download the Smartify app to find out more information when visiting the exhibition. The app has information in both English and Arabic linking to each of the artworks on display.
Towneley Hall is now open to the public.
During our period of closure staff have been busy working on essential maintenance to the hall, ensuring its place in Burnley’s history for another 600 years. Currently this means the Great Hall is closed whilst we undertake surveys and repairs to the Grade I listed ceiling.
Thank you for your support.
Hand sanitizer, one way system, social distancing, mask wearing and the NHS track and trace app will all be in use to keep visitors safe.