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River & Rowing Museum - Everyday Images: Naïve painting of daily life 1750-1900


Preview: Jack Foley

THE River & Rowing Museum, in Henley-on-Thames, will be showcasing one of the largest collections of Naïve Art ever displayed in the UK, in a new exhibition opening on June 28 and running until October 19.

The exhibition will be officially opened by Sir Nicholas Serota, the Director of the Tate Gallery, during a private view on July 8.

Commonly known as 'Naïve Art', but also termed folk or primitive art, the paintings form a colourful collection of images recording 'snap-shots' of daily English life over the last three centuries.

One of only three major collections in the world, the works universally depict subjects of emotional significance or represent scenes related to the everyday life and routine of the artist.

Among a wide range of subjects the exhibition includes prize-winning animals, sailing ships, colourful rural scenes, townscapes and portraits.

The images express the artists' experiences of the world in an honest and simple style, often with an indifference to perspective and formal techniques.

Many by unknown artists, this collection of paintings provides a unique insight into the life and loves of ordinary people, from local residents and farmers to ships' captains and factory owners, throughout the last 300 years.

More importantly, it records the personal thoughts and feelings of individuals whilst echoing the pressing social issues of the time.

Incorporating familiar images such as the man with his prize-winning pig and local country scenes, this collection celebrates a fresh, unaffected yet striking style of art that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Paul Mainds, chief executive of the River & Rowing Museum, commented: "Situated in our Treasures Gallery, we are delighted to display this collection dating from 1750 to 1900 which is of national and local significance because of the pictures of Henley and surrounding area and because of the sheer scale of subjects covering three centuries of artistic endeavour.

"This exhibition is part of a wider art and history programme on display in the Museum this year, through which we hope to reaffirm the Museum's status as one of the UK's leading visitor attractions."

For further information on the exhibition or general enquiries, call the River & Rowing Museum on 01491 415 600 or visit www.rrm.co.uk

About the River & Rowing Museum

The Museum celebrates three themes: the past, present and future of the River Thames, the historic riverside community of Henley-on-Thames and the international sport of rowing.

Since it opened to the public in August 1998, the Museum has received numerous awards for its design and architecture, including the RIBA Building of the Year and National Heritage/NPI Museum of the Year award.

The Museum is a recognised centre for the arts and has hosted a number of high profile art exhibitions as part of its ongoing programme of special exhibitions and related talks.

The Museum, Riverside Café and shop are open daily from 10am until 5pm (5.30pm between May and August).

Admission prices: £4.95 for adults; £3.75 for children and concessions. Free parking is available for visitors.

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