Month 12 (June 2012)

This month I have been mostly... Appreciating art

You can now browse and search the complete catalogue of sections II–XI of the Samuel Butler Collection on the Janus website. This is one of the major outcomes from the first year of the Butler Project, and, as a number of researchers (not to mention myself, on a daily basis!) have already made use of the catalogue, it seems a good time to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund again for making this work possible.

Drawing by Sam Motherwell, 2012

Drawing by Sam Motherwell, 2012

With cataloguing of the boxed collection complete, I turned my attention to section I (pictures, sketches and drawings), which I will be working on and photographing over the coming weeks. To kick-start this phase of the project I put together an exhibition of some of Butler’s artworks, and invited members of the College Art Society into the Old Library to participate in an afternoon drawing session on 15 June.

Sketching beneath the oriel window

We were very fortunate to be joined by Cambridge artist Sam Motherwell, who has recently been working on a series of drawings of the river and completed a number of views looking out from the Library. Sam generously shared his work and drawing tips with us, and Butler (from the exhibition cases) provided additional inspiration. As if that wasn’t excitement enough, the sun came out and cast beautiful shadows in the Library, which some of the students impressively incorporated into their sketches.

It was a lovely afternoon, and one I hope to recreate for school groups next academic year. If you’re interested in arranging a session, please visit the ‘Art in the Old Library’ education page. You can also view an online exhibition of Butler’s artworks here.

Next month

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