Exhibition | The Art of Golf: The Story of Scotland’s National Sport

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on July 15, 2014

Press release (11 July 2014) for the current exhibition:

The Art of Golf: The Story of Scotland’s National Sport
The Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, 12 July — 26 October 2014

David Allan, William Inglis (ca. 1712 - 1792), Surgeon and Captain of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (Scottish National Gallery).

David Allan, William Inglis (ca. 1712–1792), Surgeon and Captain of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (Scottish National Gallery)

The Scottish National Gallery is delighted to take part in the sporting celebrations taking place this summer in Scotland with The Art of Golf: The Story of Scotland’s National Sport. The exhibition will overlap with two important events: the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow (23 July–3 August) and the Ryder Cup, Gleneagles (23–28 September), the biennial competition played between teams of professional golfers representing the United States and Europe. The Art of Golf explores golf as a subject of fascination for artists from the seventeenth century to the present day, with a particular emphasis on the emergence of the sport in Scotland.

The Art of Golf will bring together around 60 paintings and photographs—as well as a selection of historic golfing equipment—with works by artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669), Sir Henry Raeburn (1756–1823), Hendrick Avercamp (1585–1634) and Paul Sandby (1731–1809) illustrating the origins of the game. Other highlights will include Sir John Lavery’s (1846–1951) beautiful 1920s paintings of the golf course at North Berwick, a coastal resort 25 miles east of Edinburgh, and colourful railway posters for popular destinations such as Gleneagles, which illustrate the boom in golfing tourism in the inter-war years. Stunning images of golf courses from Brora to the Isle of Harris by contemporary photographer Glyn Satterly and spectacular aerial shots by artist and aviator Patricia Macdonald will bring the exhibition up to present day. Generous loans from a number of famous Scottish golf clubs, the British Golf Museum in St Andrews and private collectors have been secured for this exhibition.

The centrepiece of the show will be the greatest golfing painting in the world, Charles Lees’s 1847 masterpiece The Golfers. This commemorates a match played on the Old Course at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews, by Sir David Baird and Sir Ralph Anstruther, against Major Hugh Lyon Playfair and John Campbell of Saddell. It represents a veritable ‘who’s who’ of Scottish golf at that time and was famously reproduced in a fine engraving which sold in great quantities. Lees (1800–80) made use of photography, at a time when it was in its infancy, to help him design the painting’s overall composition. The image in question, taken by photography pioneers D O Hill & Robert Adamson, will be included in the show and Lees’s preparatory drawings and oil sketches will also be displayed alongside the finished painting to offer visitors further insight into the creation of this great work. Impressions of The Golfers are now in many of the greatest golf clubhouses around the world. The painting is jointly owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.


David Allan, The Prize of the Silver Golf: Officer Carrying a Decorated Golf Club, Two Soldiers with Drums behind Him, ca. 1785 (Scottish National Gallery)

Golf has been played in Scotland since at least the fifteenth century. Whilst its origins are obscure, it is undoubtedly close to the Netherlandish game of ‘colf’, which was played over rough ground or on frozen waterways, and involved hitting a ball to a target stick fixed in the ground or the ice. ‘Colvers’ playing on the frozen canals are seen in Dutch seventeenth-century paintings which form the earliest part of the show. In Scotland the game is often played over ‘links’ courses, originally rough common ground where the land meets the sea. The majority of Scotland’s famous old courses, such as St Andrews or North Berwick, are links courses. In Edinburgh, the early links courses of Bruntsfield, Leith and Musselburgh are shown in works by Sandby and Raeburn.

Michael Clarke, Director of the Scottish National Gallery, said: “This show is designed to be fun and to bring together two publics, lovers of art and lovers of golf. Where better to do this than in this world-class gallery, with its great Old master and Scottish paintings, which is situated in Scotland’s beautiful capital city of Edinburgh, and through which so many golfers pass on their way to our internationally renowned courses.”


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From ACC Distribution:

Michael Clarke and Kenneth McConkey, The Art of Golf (Woodbridge: Antique Collectors Club, 2014), 72 pages, ISBN: 978-1906270674, £13.

art-of-golfThe Art of Golf illustrates how the noble game has been depicted in European art from the seventeenth century to the present day. This fascinating story is told by images in a variety of media, from paintings and prints to photographs and posters. The centrepiece is Charles Lees’s The Golfers, 1847, which depicts a match played on the Old Course at St Andrews in 1847, and is one greatest golfing painting in the world. In his essay Michael Clarke, director of the Scottish National Gallery, outlines the story behind the development of the game, while art historian Kenneth McConkey discusses the series of paintings of golf at North Berwick made by Sir John Lavery in the years following the Great War.

Michael Clarke is Director of the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh. He has published widely, including books on English watercolours, the landscape painter Camille Corot, and his second, revised edition of The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Art Terms was published in 2010. Most recently he co-curated the international exhibition Impressionist Gardens (2010–11) and wrote the exhibition catalogue of French Drawings in the Scottish National Gallery (2011). Kenneth McConkey is Professor of Art History and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design, the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. He has written extensively about late Victorian and Edwardian painting.

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The politics of gender, golf, and Scottish identity will soon go to the polls. On September 18 (the same day, Scots vote to stay or secede from Britain), members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club (roughly 2500 men) will vote on the question of whether women may be admitted. As reported by The New York Times, for Louise Richardson, the principal of the University of St. Andrews, the discriminatory policy is also a “workplace hurdle.” Karen Crouse’s article, “In St. Andrews, a Heavy Knock on a Neighbor’s Door: First Female President of University of St. Andrews Fights for Admittance at Royal and Ancient Golf Club,” appeared in the paper on 11 July 2014.

Update (added 22 September 2014)As Crouse reports in The New York Times (18 September 2014). . .
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club voted overwhelmingly to admit its first female members. . . . Peter Dawson, the secretary of the club, announced the results of a postal balloting of the club’s 2,400 male members, many of whom were on site in matching blue jackets and patterned blue ties. About three-quarters of the members participated in the voting, he said, with 85 percent of them opting to accept women. . .

Call for Essays | Art History and Disability Studies

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on July 15, 2014

From H-ArtHist:

Edited Volume: Art History and Disability Studies
Proposals due by 15 September 2014

Contributions are sought for an interdisciplinary collection of essays on art history and disability studies for an edited volume to be published by Ashgate Publishing Co., as part of the series Interdisciplinary Disability Studies. Art history has not been as influenced by disability studies as have other disciplines of the humanities. Art historians have analyzed images by and about disabled people without integrating disability studies scholarship, while many disability studies scholars refer to images, but do not necessarily incorporate art historical research and methodology. This edited volume centers on interdisciplinary art history and disability studies scholarship.

Papers may address issues such as the following:

• Specific representations of disability throughout art history, including works by disabled and nondisabled artists
• Portraits of disabled individuals throughout history, with visible and/or invisible impairments
• Scientific, anthropological, and vernacular images of disability and how they have influenced fine art
• Representations that display disability and eroticization
• Performance in the forms of artworks and in the everyday lives of disabled individuals
• Theories and implications of looking/staring versus gazing in disability studies and in art history
• Examples of visual art that represent and/or challenge stereotypes of disability

Submissions due by September 15, 2014. All submissions must represent previously unpublished work. Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a CV to Ann Millett-Gallant (amillett@nc.rr.com) and Elizabeth Howie (ehowie@coastal.edu). Selected authors will be notified by October 15, 2014 and will contribute a full length essay of approximately 6000 words by April 1, 2015. All chapters will be reviewed by the editors before submission to the publisher and will be subject to an additional external review.

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