Advisory Committee on Works of Art - Decisions 2007-10

 

Meeting on Tuesday 9 March 2010 in Portcullis House

The Committee considered the selection of photographs for the Arts Council Exhibition in June. There were forty three images in total but it was possible that some of these many not be part of the final selection. The Committee approved the proposed selection of photographs.

The Committee considered the loan of a portrait of Sir Michael Spicer by John Bratby. Portraits by the same artist of Michael Foot and Cyril Smith were already in the Parliamentary Art Collection and the portrait of Sir Michael would add party balance. The Committee agreed to accept the portrait on a short term loan.

The Assistant Curator advised the Committee that two watercolours by Seigfried Detlev Bendixen were being sold at auction as a single lot. The paintings were The Entrance to the Court of the Kings Bench and Bustling Activity on the Thames. The Committee agreed to bid for the paintings.




Meeting on Tuesday 9 February 2010 in Portcullis House

The Committee viewed a print by Alberto Duman. The print was part of a set of 6, each reflected what the artist had seen in a specific location at a particular moment in time. Each print had an edition of 50 and there were two prints which covered Westminster. The Committee agreed not to acquire the prints.

The Assistant Curator advised the Committee that an auction containing political cartoons, including cartoons on the subject of Peterloo, Pitt and King George III was due to take place at Bonhams. Further work needed to be done to identify potential acquisitions.


Meeting on Tuesday 19 January in Portcullis House

The Committee considered a proposal from the Arts Council for an exhibition on the glass wall of Portcullis House. The Art Councils had a collection that included a number of notable artists. The proposed exhibition would cover a range of 20th century photographers including Bill Brant, George Rodger, Bert Hardy, Roger Mayne, Tony Ray Jones, Daniel Meadows, Martin Parr, Peter Mitchell, Vanleu Burke, Paul Graham, Ingrid Pollard, Henry Bond, Liam Gillick and Mark Neville. There would be around thirty photographs in the exhibition and an information leaflet would also be produced.

The Committee agreed to the proposal for the exhibition submitted by the Arts Council and that that the exhibition should take place in June 2010.

The Committee viewed a portrait of Ben Bradshaw MP. The Committee agreed to not to acquire the portrait.


Meeting on Tuesday 15 December 2009 in Portcullis House

The Committee viewed View of Westminster by James Miller. The watercolour showed a very rare view of Parliament and complemented the watercolour by Thomas Molton that the Committee had previously acquired. The Committee agreed to acquire the painting.

The Committee considered a selection of satirical prints from the dealer Andrew Edmunds. The prints had originally been part of bound portfolios and had not been exposed to the light resulting in the original colouring remaining very vivid. The Committee agreed to acquire all nineteen prints.

The Committee considered a portrait of John Pym. It was noted that Pym was an important figure in the Civil War and the House already had three images of him in the collection. The portrait was not contemporary and was thought to date from the 18th century. The Committee agreed to acquire the print.


Meeting on Tuesday 3 November 2009 in Portcullis House

The Committee viewed a brooch designed by Sylvia Pankhurst and given to all non-hunger striking suffragettes after imprisonment in Holloway Prison. A separate medal was awarded to those suffragettes who had been on hunger strike. It was believed that the brooch in question had belonged to Rosalind Cadiz, also know as Rosalind Murphy, who had been arrested on a March in 1912. The Committee agreed to acquire the brooch.

The Committee viewed The Island, a print by Stephen Walter. Smaller prints showing sections of the work were also available - three of them included Westminster. The Committee agreed not to acquire the prints.

The Committee viewed Funny Turns and Deviations, a screenprint by Martin Grover. The Committee agreed to acquire the print.


Meeting on Tuesday 14 July 2009 in Portcullis House

The Committee considered the potential acquisition of two prints by Chris Orr. One, entitled "Pets in control", was the companion piece to a print showing a sitting in the House of Commons Chamber. The Committee agreed to acquire the print.

The Committee viewed a painting of Portcullis House by the artist Julian Barrow, which it has commissioned. The Committee approved the painting.

A Member raised the matter of the set of four photographic prints showing women Members, which were currently not displayed. She suggested that they should be displayed in one of the Committee Rooms on the Upper Committee Corridor. The Curator and the Secretary advised that the display would need to be approved by the Administration Committee, and that the Ten Year Rule, which forbade the display of images of living people in the main Palace, would be of relevance. The Committee agreed to recommend to the Administration Committee that the four prints showing women Members should be displayed in one of the Committee Rooms on the Upper Committee Corridor.


Meeting on Tuesday 16 June 2009 in Portcullis House

The Committee viewed prints showing views of Westminster and its environs by Tavener and Orr which were potential acquisitions. The Committee agreed to seek to acquire the entire set of 30 prints by Tavener and agreed to purchase two prints by Orr.

The Committee considered the potential acquisition of a watercolour by David Cox, "View of Westminster from Vauxhall, London,". The Curator advised that the quality of the work was superior to that of many of the works in the collection depicting the aftermath of the 1834 fire. The Committee agreed not to acquire the work.

The Committee considered the potential acquisition of a watercolour by George Scharf showing the Westminster Elections in 1818, to be sold at auction. The Assistant Curator advised that the House already held an engraving after the painting, as well as some cartoons on the same subject. The Committee agreed to seek to acquire the work subject to its being in satisfactory condition.

The Committee viewed two photographs of Ramsay MacDonald which had been acquired, as agreed at its last meeting. The Chairman said they should be displayed with the bust of Ramsay MacDonald at the unveiling of the new portrait heads of Prime Ministers, and that the other portrait heads should also be accompanied with photographs of the sitters.

The Assistant Curator reported that three portrait photographs commissioned by the Committee, taken by Amit Lennon, had been entered for a prize. The Committee agreed that the three photographs could be loaned as necessary for the competition, including for display in an exhibition if they won a prize.


Meeting on Tuesday 19 May 2009 in Portcullis House

The Committee viewed the potential acquisition of a terracotta library bust of Disraeli, by Count Gleichen. The House already owned several images of Disraeli. The bust showed Disraeli in the same year as the loan painting which hung in Committee Corridor. The Committee agreed to acquire the bust.

The Committee considered the potential acquisition of a number of photographs to be sold at auction. The Deputy Curator noted that, if acquired, the photos could only be displayed very occasionally because they would be damaged by light. The photographs were still in copyright, so the House would not have the right to reproduce them. The Committee agreed that the Assistant Curator should bid for the lot containing photographs of Ramsay MacDonald.


Meeting on Tuesday 28 April 2009 in Portcullis House

The Committee considered an update from the Director of Education, Department of Information Services, on information provided by the Education Service about Works of Art. The Secretary noted that a Member had drawn attention to the fact that little information was provided about the works of art in the House of Commons in material provided to education visitors.

It was explained that education visitors on the core visit programme spent only a short time in the House, and there was a lot to fit in. The focus, in line with the Education Service's objectives, was firmly on the work of the House of Commons. Little time was available for coverage of the history of the House, where the art collection was particularly relevant. A lot of work, however, was going on outside the core visit programme. There was a seasonal programme of workshops on topics such as the suffrage movement and the Civil War. These could make much more use of works of art to illustrate historical events. Another exciting project was the work which had been done by an artist working with schoolchildren; the Committee had agreed that this could be displayed on the glass wall. The University of Arts London, made up of several London art colleges, had expressed an interest in jointly funding a large art project with schools.

The Chairman asked whether information about Parliament's art collection could be sent out to all schools. It was agreed that when the Works of Art website was in place, schools could be contacted to advertise the site and draw attention to the art resources in place.

The Committee considered a request from the Arts Council to hold a display on the glass wall, of portraiture around the theme of "Faces." The Committee agreed that the Arts Council should be allowed to book the glass wall for an exhibition for a period of one month in May or June 2010; and that the works for display should be submitted to the Committee in advance for approval.


Meeting on Wednesday 18 March 2009 in Portcullis House

The Committee viewed a selection of prints offered for sale by Andrew Edmunds, and agreed to acquire them.


Meeting on 25 February 2009 in Portcullis House

The Committee considered the potential acquisition of three photographs showing the majority of women MPs, entitled “The Day the Carlton Club admitted women.” The Committee agreed to acquire the set of three photographs.

The Committee agreed to a request from Gisela Stuart MP, editor of the House magazine, to hold an exhibition of cartoons which had featured in the magazine on the glass wall in Portcullis House atrium.


Meeting on Wednesday 21 January 2009 in Portcullis House

The Committee considered the potential acquisition of a bust of Robert Peel, by Matthew Noble. The Committee agreed to acquire the bust of Robert Peel.


Meeting on Wednesday 17 December 2008 in Portcullis House

The Committee considered the potential acquisition of a portrait of Gladstone by Franz von Lenbach. The Committee agreed to acquire the portrait.

The Committee considered the potential acquisition of a print showing Winston Churchill, produced for London Underground. The Committee agreed to acquire the portrait.

The Committee agreed to a request from Sir John Soane’s Museum to borrow a painting of the Palace after the fire by George Scharfe, currently hanging in the Terrace Cafeteria.


Meeting on Wednesday 26 November 2008 in Portcullis House

The Committee considered the potential acquisition of a portrait of Aneurin Bevan. The Assistant Curator advised that the collection contained few works from that era.

The Committee viewed a copy bust of Bonar Law which had been commissioned, as agreed at a previous meeting. The Chairman congratulated the curatorial team on arranging the commission and filling another gap in the collection of Prime Ministerial busts in Members' Lobby.

The Committee agreed to commission a copy bust of Campbell-Bannerman by the sculptor Martin Jennings. The Committee agreed that the patination should be dark bronze.


Meeting on Wednesday 22 October 2008 in Portcullis House

The Committee discussed the loan exhibition of cartoons by Gerald Scarfe currently on display in Portcullis House. Members congratulated the Curator on the success of the exhibition, which had engaged and entertained visitors of all ages.

The Committee considered the potential acquisition of a portrait of Sir George Yonge by Anton Hickel, offered for sale by an American dealer. The Committee noted that the work was of good quality, and was a study for part of a larger work which the House had on loan and which hung in Committee Room 6. The Committee agreed to acquire the portrait.


Meeting on Tuesday 15 July 2008 in Portcullis House

The Chairman reported that, following consideration of the Committee's recommendations, the Speaker had chosen three preferred images for the Speaker's Art Fund Christmas cards. They agreed to recommend them to Mr Speaker.

The Committee considered the potential acquisition of three photographs showing the majority of women MPs, entitled "The Day the Carlton Club admitted women." The Committee agreed to acquire the set of three photographs.

The Committee agreed to a request from Gisela Stuart MP, editor of the House magazine, to hold an exhibition of cartoons which had featured in the magazine on the glass wall in Portcullis House atrium.


Meeting on Tuesday 17 June 2008 in Portcullis House

The Committee considered three acquisitions:

  • The south side of the Augmentation Office as it was in 1793 by William Capon.
  • Two watercolour drawings of St Stephen's Chapel after the fire of 1834 by George Belton Moore.

The Committee heard an update on the search for busts of twentieth century Prime Ministers.


Meeting on Tuesday 6 May 2008 in Portcullis House

The Curator noted that the Willoughby collection of items relating to Prime Ministers had been accepted as a donation by the Speaker's Art Fund.

The Chairman congratulated all concerned on the successful unveiling of the Blair portrait.


Meeting on Tuesday 22 April 2008 in Portcullis House

The Committee considered a loan request from the House of Lords and agreed to loan busts of Nancy Astor and Barbara Castle to feature in an exhibition on Life Peers. It agreed that notes should be placed in the normal location of the busts to explain that they had been loaned.


Meeting on Tuesday 11 March 2008 in Portcullis House

The Committee were given a presentation on designs for a new Works of Art website.

The Committee considered a collection of engravings from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries offered for sale by Andrew Edmunds.


Meeting on Tuesday 26 February 2008 in Portcullis House

The Committee agreed to a request from Redbridge Library to borrow two pictures for an exhibition this summer, and to a request from the House of Lords to borrow the recently commissioned portrait of Baroness Williams of Crosby (Shirley Williams) for display between Easter and Christmas 2008.

The Committee agreed to purchase a painting of an election scene by Wicksteed.


Meeting on Tuesday 15 January 2008 in Portcullis House

The Committee viewed a portrait of Stephen Lushington, a nineteenth-century MP and campaigner against the slave trade. The Committee heard that Stephen Lushington had been an important figure in the abolition movement. The portrait required some cleaning and conservation. The Committee agreed to purchase the portrait.


Meeting on Tuesday 11 December 2007 in Portcullis House

The Committee heard that an exhibition on the history of Westminster Hall was to be mounted in the Hall from January to April 2008. It would showcase items which were found when the floor had been taken up during recent works. It had been suggested that relevant works from the Collection should be loaned for display at the exhibition, but due to the adverse environmental conditions in Westminster Hall, photographs of the works had been offered instead.


Meeting on Tuesday 13 November 2007 in Portcullis House

1. The Committee agreed to accept the loan of a study of Asquith by Sir James Guthrie, belonging to the National Portrait Gallery.

2. The Committee agreed to a request that some works from the Parliamentary Collection should be lent to the Watercolours & Drawings Fair at the Royal Academy of Arts.


Meeting on Tuesday 16 October 2007 in Portcullis House

1. The Committee agreed to accept the loan of a painting by Edward Bouchard, "The Open Debate", offered by the artist.

2. The Committee agreed to acquire a watercolour portrait of Ernest Bevin, painted for the cover of Time Magazine.