Artist, art critic, educator, social thinker and true polymath, John Ruskin (1819-1900) devoted his life to the pursuit of knowledge. To mark the bicentenary of his birth, a new exhibition produced by Two Temple Place, Museums Sheffield and the Guild of St George, will celebrate the legacy and enduring relevance of Ruskin’s ideas and vision. John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing will bring together over 190 paintings, drawings, daguerreotypes, metal work, and plaster casts to illustrate how Ruskin’s attitude to aesthetic beauty shaped his radical views on culture and society.
The exhibition will showcase significant objects from Sheffield’s Guild of St George Ruskin Collection whilst also drawing on the rich collections of both regional and national public museums and galleries, including, The Ashmolean; Calderdale Museums; The Fitzwilliam; Gallery Oldham; The Ruskin Library, Lancaster; Leeds Museums and Art Gallery; Tate; Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village and the William Morris Gallery. Newly commissioned works including site-specific installations by Timorous Beasties and Grizedale Arts, a new moving image piece by Dan Holdsworth and contributions from artists Hannah Downing and Emilie Taylor will also feature, exploring Ruskin’s contemporary legacy.
The exhibition is curated by Louise Pullen, Ruskin Curator at Museums Sheffield, with the support of Alison Morton, Exhibition & Displays Curator, Museums Sheffield. Author and journalist, Michael Glover has provided further interpretation and insight.
John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing will be complemented by a further exhibition continuing the bicentenary celebrations at the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield from 29 May – 15 September 2019.
Ruskin To-Day is a gathering of the many people, places and enterprises devoted to Ruskin and his work. For more on all the activity planned around the world for 2019, go to www.ruskin200.com.
The exhibition is supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation, Foyle Foundation, Sheffield Town Trust and James Neill Trust Fund.
‘Ruskin amassed this collection with a singular purpose – to captivate and inspire its audience, and compel them to action. This exhibition is a visual exploration of the radical, prescient notion at the heart of his philosophy: that in opening ourselves to beauty we can find a more enjoyable and enriching path through our fast-paced and rapidly changing world.’
Louise Pullen, Curator of the Ruskin Collection, Museums Sheffield