From now until October, there are no planned activities for the Society – though current members will get an Autumn Newsletter and programme card for the 2015-2016 season of talks towards the end of September.
However, we shall post here from time to time during our “vacation” about history related developments or activities about or in and about Oxford!
This Saturday 18th July 2015 10am – 3.30pm (last entry 3.15pm) Oxford Westgate archaeological excavations OPEN DAY. See 10,000 years of Oxfords past – in 1 big hole! Entry via a Gate in the site fence on Abbey Place near the junction with Norfolk Street. OX1 1TG . The BBC has an article:thanks to the waterlogged conditions “Rare and exciting” leather and wooden objects most about 700 years old have been uncovered. The finds include remains of 50 medieval shoes – our ancestors might have been just as keen as us to keep up with the dictates of fashion!
The Ashmolean Museum has just successfully secured the permanent ownership of The High Street, Oxford (1810) by J. M. W. Turner. It was commissioned by a contemporary Oxford printseller, James Wyatt. The real painting is on display in the Ashmolean’s Welcome Gallery, on the Ground Floor – admission is free to the entire Museum! Or do look out for the are 12 full-sized replicas on display around the city including the Plain side of Magdalen Bridge and in the Broad.
© Ashmolean Museum
It is unusual in Turner’s output, in that it is a cityscape in oil.
Nor is it – for this writer with an admittedly limited knowledge of art – obviously a Turner. About a dozen years later he did turn back to The High – and completed at least 5 watercolours (see example below) in his most appealingly Turneresque style!
© Tate, London D25125 Turner Bequest CCLXIII 3
In celebration, and until mid-August, you can enter a photography competition “Capture your view of Oxford on camera and share it with the Ashmolean on social media to be in with a chance of winning a variety of prizes, and for your image to go on display at the Ashmolean Museum later this year. could submit a photographic view of Oxford – and win a prize” See more #MyOxfordView
Turner also did the (obligatory) visit to Iffley and sketched at least the view of Iffley Mill and Iffley Church from the river. Unfortunately, the sketches are rather faint – and although you can see free online versions that’s to Tate Britain’s online catalogue, they don’t show through well enough: in some instances you still have to see the real thing, not just the digital image!