right of the entrance to the RUSKIN GALLERY is W.G. Collingwood's
magnificent portrait of Ruskin in his old age. On the wall next to it are
ordered some of the main landmarks in his life; an information folder
nearby contains a more detailed CHRONOLOGY.
The EARLY YEARS case, on the left as you enter the gallery, contains memorabilia including Ruskin's first bible and a brilliantly-written letter to his father when the boy was just nine years old. Check out that handwriting !
GEOLOGY and TURNER. Ruskin was
said to draw with the eye of a geologist, and his love of minerals is
reflected in the collection on display here. Cases showing
impressively-lit samples surround a series of prints by Turner; there are
also one or two by Ruskin in imitation of the 'master.' The theme is the
interpretation of mountains.
In the CENTRE of the room, the
case containing Collingwood's sculpture of Ruskin, the funeral pall and
devotions, is flanked by cases displaying his work in ART and ARCHITECTURE
respectively. The ART section has a touchscreen interactive display; the
ARCHITECTURE section has an automatic display showing all 5 of Ruskin's
sketchbooks in turn.
Other displays here include some marvellous VISUAL AIDS ( including plaster-casts and spectacular giant models of bird-feathers) from Ruskin's ART TEACHING, and Brantwood and Grand Tour memorabilia.
There is a separate section devoted to W.G. COLLINGWOOD; some of his popular local art work is on show, together with his daughter's sculpture of her father and information about the whole family. Collingwood's famous painting of Ruskin in his study is to be seen near the Brantwood case.
Ruskin's harmonicon (a slate xylophone) resides near the exit, highlighting Ruskin's interest in making music. Visitors may try out this ancient instrument for themselves !
Extra information, relating to Ruskin and relationships, 'Proserpina' and extracts from some of his very persuasive lectures on political economy and philosophy, may be found in special folders in the gallery.
Comments from the Visitor Book
"Ruskin - an
ornamentor's hero !"