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Rare artworks to go on permanent display

John Pettie, "James Guthrie Orchar 1825-1898", 1886. Copyright Dundee Art Galleries and Museums Collection (Dundee City Council).

John Pettie, “James Guthrie Orchar 1825-1898”, 1886. Copyright Dundee Art Galleries and Museums Collection (Dundee City Council).

A rarely shown collection of art works can now be viewed 24 hours a day thanks to a new online catalogue created by the University of St Andrews.

The University has helped launched a new website celebrating a Victorian print collection too delicate to display regularly.

The Orchar Collection, which is now in the care of The McManus: Dundee’s Art Galleries and Museums was created by Dundee-born engineer and industrialist James Guthrie Orchar.

Orchar’s collection of etchings includes more than 100 works and features a large number by James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

He also owned a fine set of impressions by Whistler’s brother-in-law Sir Francis Seymour Haden, Jozef Israëls, James Tissot and many other important printmakers of the 19th century.

The new online catalogue, The Orchar Collection: Prints, as well as displaying the collection of artworks, also features a series of essays which place the work and collection in context.

Managed by Dr William Rough of the University of St Andrews’ School of Art History, the website is a collaboration between the School and The McManus and is supported by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Dr Rough said: “As light can discolour the paper prints they are rarely exhibited; the website makes this wonderful collection accessible to the public. The collection highlights Orchar’s importance as a collector during a period, known as ‘the Etching Revival’, in which there was an unprecedented rise in the collecting and making of prints.

“In his choice of works and willingness to share his collection through exhibitions Orchar demonstrated remarkable taste and generosity. By bringing these works to the attention of the wider public, The Orchar Collection: Prints, follows in that same spirit”.

Considered an important patron of the Arts, Orchar fostered a number of personal relationships with the artists whose work he collected. This is evident in the personal dedications to Orchar himself on a number of the prints.

Orchar was keen for the people of Dundee to have access to his collection and regularly exhibited the works at the Dundee Fine Art Exhibitions from the 1870s to the 1890s.

Whistler, "Wych Street", 1877

Whistler, “Wych Street”, 1877. Copyright Dundee Art Galleries and Museums Collection (Dundee City Council).

Paul Adolphe Rajon, "Charles Darwin", c.1875. Copyright Dundee Art Galleries and Museums Collection (Dundee City Council).

Paul Adolphe Rajon, “Charles Darwin”, c.1875. Copyright Dundee Art Galleries and Museums Collection (Dundee City Council).

James Jacques Tissot, "Portico of the National Gallery, London", 1878. Copyright Dundee Art Galleries and Museums Collection (Dundee City Council).

James Jacques Tissot, “Portico of the National Gallery, London”, 1878. Copyright Dundee Art Galleries and Museums Collection (Dundee City Council).

Note to Editors

The catalogue is available at www.st-andrews.ac.uk/orchar.

Dr William Rough is available on 01334 462399 or at wwr@st-andrews.ac.uk.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For further information on the AHRC, please go to: www.ahrc.ac.uk


Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact Fiona MacLeod on 01334 462108/ 0771 414 0559.

Ref: (orchar online  30/07/13)

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