17th Jul 2021 -
5th Jun 2022

12:00 - 15:30

Pre-Raphaelite Artist of Hope – Evelyn De Morgan

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.

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Discover more with Smartify

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.

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A reduced entry fee of £2.75 per adult is in place due to conservation building works taking place at Towneley Hall.

All areas of the Hall will be open to the public with the exception of the Regency Rooms, Medieval Long Gallery and Great Hall. Visitors will still be able to see the Victorian Kitchen and the stunning Art Gallery. The eclectic collections including an Egyptian Mummy, the Whalley Abbey Vestments, Lancashire-oak made furniture, Pilkington’s Pottery and the Towneley Bear are also still fully accessible.