Emery Walker's House Launches Membership Scheme

New programme of monthly online talks announced

Emery Walker’s House

Emery Walker’s House on Hammersmith Terrace is launching a new membership scheme and has arranged a series of monthly, online, interactive talks.

Emery Walker's Friends will give members access to discounts on Emery Walker's House Tickets, priority booking for online lectures, members-only newsletters and access to booking expert-led tours of museums and heritage sites around the UK for just £25 a year.

Their first expert-led tour will take place at the Watts Gallery and will include a special tour of the De Morgan Exhibition: Decoration or Devotion by Sarah Hardy, Curator and Director at the De Morgan Foundation. For more information or to purchase membership for yourself or a friend, check their website emerywalker.org.uk or email info@emerywalker.org.uk.

Programme of Online Talks

26 January at 6pm – Emery Walker’s Final Achievement; the remarkable story of TE Lawrence’s translation of The Odyssey, given by Helen Elletson

Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful private press books of the 20th century, TE Lawrence’s (Lawrence of Arabia) translation of Homer’s epic poem was a highly ambitious four-year undertaking.

Although more famous for his role in the Arab revolt, Lawrence was a gifted writer and translator, and was a close friend of the Walkers. Through the vision of the great American type designer Bruce Rogers, the expertise of Emery Walker, and the determination of TE Lawrence, The Odyssey became a masterpiece of fine printing and a fitting tribute to the end of Walker’s remarkable career.

Helen Elletson is the Research Curator and Accreditation Officer at Emery Walker’s House, and Curator of Research and Development at the William Morris Society

23 February at 6pm - Dun Emer & Cuala: A Private Press Spotlight, given by Mallory Horrill

In the second half of the 19th century, the Arts and Crafts Movement set out to maintain traditional skills and workmanship threatened by the Industrial Revolution. In the case of print, increased demand for cheaper books led to declining standards and inferior materials. To counter this, small private presses were set up, producing books to a high standard and celebrating them as works of art. This talk will explore the Dun Emer Press (later known as the Cuala Press) a lesser-known press within the private press movement. Dun Emer Press was part of the Dun Emer Industries, a women’s craft co-operative set up by Eileen Gleeson together with Elizabeth and Lily Yeats (sisters of W.B. Yeats) to provide an education and teach skills that would lead to employment for Irish girls. The press was entirely female-run and played a key role in the Celtic revival. The talk will reflect upon the role of women in printing as well as Emery Walker’s influence and involvement in the press.

Mallory Horrill is Curator at Emery Walker’s House.

23 March at 6pm Phillip James de Loutherbourg: an Early Resident of Hammersmith Terrace, given by Hugh Belsey

In the middle of the 18th century London’s theatre was aggressively competitive and the actor manager David Garrick invited de Loutherbourg to leave his native France in order to transform the stage sets at Covent Garden Theatre. The artist’s move to Britain was a great success and he was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1781 where he exhibited rural landscape paintings. In the same year his work as a theatrical designer enabled him to display a precursor of the cinema, a spectacular mechanical theatre called the Edophusikon. Later he was influenced by the Italian trickster, Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, who taught him about the occult and faith healing. He is recorded as living in 7 and 8 Hammersmith Terrace between 1795 and 1799 and later in life turned to painting again and produced a number of huge canvases of naval battles before his death in 1812.

Hugh Belsey is Chairman of the Emery Walker Trust and an acknowledged expert in 18th century British Art. He has specialised in the work of Thomas Gainsborough and his catalogue raisonné of the artist’s paintings was awarded the William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History in 2020.

27 April at 6pm - Furniture and the Arts and Crafts home, given by Max Donnelly

Furniture defined the character of Arts and Crafts interiors. Drawing largely on examples from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection, Max Donnelly will consider the philosophies that motivated designers, and the variety of contexts in which furniture was produced, from designer-makers to established cabinet making firms. He will also look at how furniture was marketed and retailed, and some of the ways it was used and presented in homes at the turn of the twentieth century.

Max Donnelly FSA is the Curator of 19th Century Furniture and Woodwork at the Victoria and Albert Museum and a trustee of Emery Walker’s House.

These live, interactive talks are part of a programme of monthly events via Zoom organised by Emery Walker’s House Trust. Entry is by donation. Prebook via Emerywalker.org.uk.

The Emery Walker Trust is a registered charity which aims to preserve and open the House for as many people to enjoy as possible. The Trust also aims to improve knowledge of the Arts & Crafts movement and the life and work of Sir Emery Walker.

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January 9, 2022