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Rarely seen works on show at University

Prints from the Orchar Collection: Whistler and Others

Art-lovers have just a couple of weeks to see rarely-viewed paintings and etchings – currently on show at the University of St Andrews.

The works by renowned artist James Whistler, and others, are part of a collection created by Dundee-born engineer and industrialist James Guthrie Orchar (1825-1898) which are on loan from Dundee’s McManus Galleries.

The exhibition provides a snap-shot of the artistic tastes held by those in the Victorian age.

Works on show include etchings collected during the latter half of the 19th century which have been rarely exhibited in recent years.

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.

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.

Orchar was an important patron of the Arts and 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.

Curated by Dr William Rough of the School of Art History at the University of St Andrews, the exhibition is a collaboration between the School of Art History and The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum and is supported by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The exhibition is also part of a larger project to catalogue Orchar’s print collection and a website illustrating the works launched this month.

Dr Rough said: “The project aims to make this wonderful collection available to the public, and the exhibition is a great chance to view these rarely seen works.

“The City’s nineteenth century industrialists were renowned for their generous patronage of the arts. The Orchar collection, although not the largest, is the only surviving art collection amassed in Dundee at this time”.

Prints from the Orchar Collection: Whistler and Others: is on show in the School of Art History Reception,  79 North Street, until May 22, Monday to Friday 10am-4pm. Entry is free.

Note to Editors

For images please contact the press office.

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  15/05/13)

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