Club Outing to Birmingham


The trip to Birmingham on July 27th , visiting the R.B.S.A. Portrait Exhibition and the Barber Institute Gallery at the University, was a great success. It is always a pleasure to be able to leave the driving to a professional, but this was especially marked as we were conducted through the overcrowded streets of Birmingham on what amounted to a mystery tour, arriving at our various venues with apparent ease.
David Walton, an artist who has undertaken workshops for the Club, was waiting to greet us at our first destination. He gave us a brief introductory talk before taking us to see the society’s galleries. The portraits on view were overwhelmingly excellent, given the odd few rather surprising entries to the exhibition. David explained the printing technique he had used for his own entry and joined groups of Club members to discuss aspects of the paintings on show. Club member Peter Valentine had two fine canvasses on show. Claire (which was also shown at our own Trophy Exhibition) and a portrait of a Viking modelled by Simon. Most of us could not understand the adjudicator's choice of pictures as prize winners. The £1000 first prize had been awarded to a comparatively worthless portrait. However, a great deal of enjoyable banter arose over the issue and we were invited to place our own winning choices in the box provided.
David took us at lunch time to Cannon Hill Park Cafe. It was rather a frenetic place with many family groups at tables and wandering around. There was an artistic element to the building, with paintings exhibited along the corridors.
The Barber Institute is a very fine nineteen-thirties building with a permanent exhibition of works largely by well known artists. Botticelli was represented and Tintoretto, together with Rubens. Gainsborough, Reynolds and many other major figures. Degas, Monet, Manet, Toulouse Lautrec and the works of several other artist of that era were on show. On loan were two large canvasses by Derby's own Joseph Wright. A few abstract paintings completed the exhibition. Again, David Walton was present, talking interestingly about the pictures and inspiring us with his enthusiasm.
Thanks go to Club members Ian Davidson for organising the trip, Ann Eames for coping with the transport side of the outing and Club Treasurer, Jack Porteous, for the financial aspects.
Joseph Read

Last updated: Friday 11th August 2017