My last post, dated 14th February 2012 gave details of a trip I made to Trinity College Oxford with Sarah Kay and Saraid Jones, to research the college days of the 8th Lord Berwick. As we were in Oxford it seemed silly not to make the most of an opportunity to pay a visit to The Ashmolean Museum, located just around the corner from Trinity College. The Ashmolean is the worlds first university museum and its first buildings date from approximately 1678.
The Ashmolean is connected to Attingham by a number of objects that were left to the museum by Teresa Hulton, the 8th Lady Berwick, following her death in November 1972. These include a number of paintings by her father William Hulton and his artist friends and associates such as Walter Sickert and Reginald Barratt.
These items are generally kept in store at The Ashmolean and have seldom been seen by members of the public or even by staff here at Attingham, and we were all very excited when Katherine Wodehouse of the Ashmolean kindly agreed to let us see a number of the paintings and take some digital images of them. Due to the kind permission granted by The Ashmolean, I have been able to include some images of the items we saw below.
The first image is a painting by the English watercolour artist Reginald Barratt of Teresa’s artist father William Hulton (Ashmolean Reference WA1973.8). The painting shows William at work in his studio in Venice, smoking a cigar while he paints.
We know that William Hulton was partial to a cigar from another photograph from the Attingham archive, taken in the Austrian holiday resort of Seefeld in 1903 and shown below. Unfortunately to date, we have not been able to find a photo of him smoking while working!!
Another image from The Ashmolean is shown below. Due to the location of the painting on racks in a storage room and the level of lighting within the store, the image is not of the greatest quality, but the painting is of Teresa Hulton playing the piano in the Hulton family home at the Palazzo Dona in Venice, painted by her father William Hulton (Ashmolean Reference WA1970.128.1)
The painting is a companion piece to the picture of Teresa’s sister Gioconda sitting and reading in the Venice home and painted by her father in 1913. This picture hangs in the East Ante Room at Attingham.
For more information on this item click here.
The final image below showing the rear of another painting demonstrates evidence of Teresa’s habit of recording information about the history of an object, so as to provide great assistance to those (like me) who are subsequently involved in looking after or researching such objects.
Attingham’s connection to Oxford doesn’t finish with The Ashmolean however as there are also various pieces of Teresa’s correspondence in the city’s Bodleian Library. Unfortunately there wasn’t time to visit that particular establishment during our trip to so that will have to wait for another day.