Summer Newsletter, lune 2Ot7
First of all, it is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Claude Kauffmann, our Membership Secretary. Your committee were so sad to hear this news, as we so admired Claude's zest for life, and his get up and go. He was charging up to London in his dinner suit right to the end,and had celebrated his birthday in the County Club, of which he was President, just the Saturday before he died. We will miss his sense of humour, and the twinkle in his eyes. One of Guildford's great Charactersl
Our AGM in April was well-attended as usual. This year Anne Dudley retired from the committee, we thank her for all her hard work and good contributions. Beryl Davies, a long-standing member, has joined the committee, we look forward to working with her, and hope she finds it fun. After the formal meeting, and a bit of socialising, we were treated to a fascinating lecture by Catherine Macdonald-Haig on the History of the National Gallery. Maybe we could have lectures on the history of the other main galleries in London too, in future.
We are now well into our spring/summer series of visits. April saw a trip to Cookham, in Berkshire, the home of Stanley Spencer, where we enjoyed a visit to the lovely Stanley Spencer Gallery. The gallery has a large and varied collection, and its situation in Spence/s beloved home village, that he lived in and painted throughout his life, makes a strollthrough the churchyard he made so famous, continuing along the Thames, and back through the pretty High Street past the Spencer family home, a delightful experience. Afterwards a visit was made to Grey's Court, a beautifulTudor manor house in the Chilterns, with its lovely garden.
May saw a visit to the National Trust owned village of Lacock, with its Abbey. The Abbey was home to the pioneering early photographer William Henry Fox-Talbot, inventor of the negative, about whose work there is a fascinating exhibition. The village is constantly being used for filming, understandably so.
Unfortunately, strangely enough due to filming going on, our June visit to Audley End was cancelled.
But onwards and upwards - July sees a visit to Lullingstone Castle in Kent to visit both the house and the World Garden of Plants set up about 10 years ago.
August we go to Knebworth House, Herts, and September to historic Rochester, Kent. How Barbara manages constantly to come up with ideas for places for us to visit astonishes mel
You will remember that last year the Friends supported the Sidney Sime Gallery in Worplesdon, in that we paid for the restoration of some paintings. Barbara has now arranged for us to visit the gallery on Friday 29th September. lt will be a kind of 'open house' day, a make-your-own-way visit, with the gallery open from 11-1 and 2-4. lt should be interesting.
This year we have been fairly successful in recruiting new members. Welcome to you all! We hope you enjoy membership of our now 47 year old society for many years to come, and enjoy our excellent lectures and visits.
This summer, rather excitingly, your committee members, and our Founder, former GH curator lris Hawkins, have been asked to co-curate an exhibition of our favourite art works from the Borough Collection on the theme of Guildford and Surrey. We are currently selecting our favourites, and the exhibition will be held from 16th September to 26th October. To tie in with the exhibition, our usual Summer Social at Guildford House held by the Heritage Team for both us and the Friends of Guildford Museum, will be held on 3rd October.
Our committee could still do with new members. One task we need someone for is Publicity and Recruitment of New Members. And now of course, sadly, we need a new Membership Secretary - hopefully someone with a great zest for life, a good sense of humour, and a twinkle in the eye, like dear Claudel Any taker? Neither task is that onerous. Please either email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me on 01483 570008, or chat to one of the committee on an outing or at a lecture meeting, to express an interest in either of these two posts.
Have a great summer, everyone! (l write this in 32 degrees in a shady spot in the garden!)
What's been happening in Heritage Services: Guildford House and Guildford Museum?
The programme of Guildford House refurbishments have continued this year with re-freshed paintwork in appropriate heritage colours on the first floor gallery walls including the Powell Room, landing and study.
We've also had high quality window blinds installed in all the display areas to help us control the light levels. This is particularly important for the long- term preservation of objects easily damaged by light, including our own collections. lt will also help us secure the loan or hire of exhibitions and cbjects which are especially sensitive to light.
Guildford House now has a double blind system at each windowto control lightfrom outside, and we can choose which one to lower depending upon the needs of the exhibition. One blind is a mesh which reduces light coming in but allows the visitors to see through to the world outside - and to admire the historical window furniture we are still fortunate to have in our building. The more densely woven second blind can be lowered to cut out even more exterior light if required.
At Guildford Museum we are well into our Arts Council England supported project Your Stories, Your Museum. This is a major community engagement project designed to get more local people involved with the life, work and future of Guildford Museum. Events in and out of the museum are being developed and delivered to engage with local people; to help us identify the big Guildford stories that the museum can explore through new displays, and try out different ways of telling those stories so that they appeal to a range of visitors. There are lots of opportunities to get involved with Your Stories, Your Museum, and if you would like to be a part of the volunteer team helping us devise and roll out activity please contact Dajana Topczewski who has joined us as the project assistant for Your Stories, Your Museum.
01483 444550 Dajana.Topczewski@guildford.gov.uk
Exhibitions and Audience Development Officer