Visual Arts news

Rehanging the College Pictures

How does one ensure that any collection of pictures remains relevant to successive viewers? How does one ensure that it makes people look and see, and generates ongoing discussion?

Now in Hall, the bust of Milton, and Darwin in bright red in the stained glass window, engage not with their Doppelgängers, but with Francis Darwin (Botany), Quentin Skinner (Intellectual History), Alfred Cort Haddon (Anthropology) (https://alumni.christs.cam.ac.uk/alfred-cort-haddon), and Alan Munro (Immunology), among others. Works by women as well as men are highlighted. ‘I have never seen that picture of Quentin Skinner before’, said one Fellow. It had been hanging in the Fellows’ Parlour for over a year. Rehanging renews our curiosity.

A pared-down hang of greater stylistic diversity and colour brings Hall into the twenty-first century and creates an environment that will seamlessly accommodate the portrait of the current Master, Professor Jane Stapleton, when it is finished. New picture lights bathe the oils in light, creating jewel-like features on a more accented wooden paneling.

In the Mountbatten Room, Charles Darwin, Jan Smuts, Lord Mountbatten and ‘Milton’ show a more informal side to their characters, engaging in conversation with each other and with photographs of the Fellowship taken by Judith Aronson some forty years ago. In the Lloyd Room, the canvases of Finch and Baines stare across at each other with renewed vigour.

Rehanging the pictures has also allowed the College to lend to Kettle’s Yard (https://www.cam.ac.uk/artistunknown), paintings conservator, Polly Saltmarsh, to restore broken frames, and Christine Kimbriel from the University’s Hamilton Kerr Institute to do cutting-edge research. Watch this space for exciting news about one of our most precious portraits of Lady Margaret.