News from the Galleries
A new exhibition in the Verey Gallery opened in December to celebrate 600 years since the birth of Eton College’s founder, Henry VI. Curated by College Archivist, Eleanor Hoare, the exhibition explores the life of Henry VI through the College’s archive collection. This joins two other special exhibitions currently on show: Eton’s Bard: Thomas Gray and his Elegy and A Victorian Legacy: Anne Thackeray Ritchie’s Life and Writings. You can read more about Press Officer Sacha M-T’s visit to the exhibition here.
Living Advent Calendar
The Natural History Museum took part in the Royal Borough’s Living Advent Calendar last month. Visitors heard the curator talk about creatures of the snow country, including lemmings, reindeer and snowy owls.
New acquisitions: Amis Bequest
The Fine & Decorative Art Collection has received a bequest of important works of art from Old Etonian Richard Amis. The collection includes over 40 watercolours and a number of oil paintings and prints. Many significant British watercolourists, such as JMW Turner (1775-1856), Peter de Wint (1784-1849) and David Cox (1808-85) are represented. Also included is a portrait of Amis, made during his time as a boy at Eton.
Conservation of Stained-Glass Window
Built between 1445 and 1550, the tall ‘Oriel Window’ of College Hall is filled with stained glass dating from the 1840s. The design includes large royal or ecclesiastical coats of arms, between which are a series of single alternating lilies and Tudor roses. Although this glass does not include the monogram signature of the stained glass artist Thomas Willement (1786–1871), who produced designs for College Chapel, it does bear a striking resemblance to Willement’s work and research to confirm his involvement is ongoing. Until recently, many of the glass panels were cracked, while some had holes measuring about an inch in diameter. The leading was also sagging and buckling. The project to conserve the window, led by the Buildings Department, involved the removal of the glass panels by Holy Well Glass conservators, who treated the window before reinstating the glass last month.
Thanks to the dedication of a volunteer, snapshot photographs have been taken of all 743 engravings of plants that form Sir Joseph Banks’ Florilegium. We are delighted that these images can now be viewed on the Collections online catalogue. Banks (1743-1820), a botanist, naturalist and Old Etonian who took part in Captain James Cook’s first great voyage, is the subject of a special exhibition due to open at Eton in mid-2022.