Article in Art Space, local Leamington Spa magazine

For the summer 2016 issue of ‘Art Space’, a local magazine in Leamington Spa, I wrote a short history about the art gallery and museum and its collection of paintings. It covers key bequests, individual artworks (including the oldest painting in the collection), collecting strategies, and current exhibitions.

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Presenting 18th-century English drinking glasses

Recently, as research curator at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, I gave a ‘Friday Focus’ talk about the new display of 18th-century English drinking glasses that I have curated. This talk looked at the collector of the glasses, including an aspect of his life in Leamington, and then considered the different types of glasses that were created throughout the 18th century – and the various techniques used to decorate them. Lastly, I looked at why I chose to display the collection as I did:

Background to the collection and collector

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‘The Collector’ by Henry Holland, 1918, LSAG&M

This display highlights a selection of Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum’s collection of 160 English drinking glasses from the 18th century. They were purchased from the collector Francis Jahn in 1955 with the help of the National Art Collections Fund and the V&A Purchase Fund.

Jahn, who was born in 1871 and died in 1967, was a collector of oriental art, ceramics and 18th-century glasses. He followed his German father, Louis Jahn, a curator at the Hanley Museum, who built up a vast private collection of 18th-century Staffordshire pottery during his lifetime, which he left to his son. Many of the finest items were later bequeathed by Francis Jahn himself to Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum.  Continue reading

17th-century Netherlandish paintings at Leamington Spa

My role as the Research Curator at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum involves researching into aspects of the permanent collection and interpreting it for different visitors. Recently, the gallery has had an unusual acquisition of twelve 17th-century Netherlandish paintings, which are all on permanent display. I have been studying them in order to create a handout for visitors and give a talk as part of the gallery’s weekly ‘Friday Focus’ events. My 8 page handout is below:

wall handout - final copy

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Leamington Spa’s taste of Little Italy

Published in The University of Warwick student newspaper, The Boar, in March 2013

Looking for an escape from the limited restaurant selection on campus and the generic chain restaurants out in the real world? There is no place quite like La Coppola.

Whether you live on campus or in Leamington, La Coppola will make for a unique treat out with friends or an unforgettable date. It provides a refreshing restaurant experience that goes beyond  the food.

Family owned and with all Italian-speaking waiters, it immediately feels like a special place. As you open the door you are greeted with warm smiles. Your walk to a table will be lit up by fairy lights draped among blossom branches running along the ceiling.

Murals on the walls depicting rural Italian scenes add to the feeling that you have stepped out of cold, wet England and into a delicious holiday. Even the outside of the restaurant is full of promise, stimulating the imagination with lavish displays of colourful fruit and vegetables – a beautiful display with the promise of healthy eating.

The menu is refreshing, with choice ranging from brochette starters, pizzas, risottos, different meat dishes, and they specialize in fish. Even for vegetarians, there is plenty to choose from. My favourite is Melanzana Parmigiana, which is baked layers of aubergine and parmesan in a rich tomato sauce, topped with buffalo mozzarella. There are many side dishes available, ranging from chips to some healthier options.  Continue reading