Beau Nash history board re-done!

Beau Nash history board re-done!

The former Strada restaurant - now changing hands.

The former Strada restaurant – now changing hands. Click on any image to enlarge.

Back at the end of August l was hoping the new occupants of the house Bath’s famous Georgian Master of

The fades sign telling the Beau Nash story on what was Popjoy's Restaurant.

The old and  faded sign which told the Beau Nash story on what was Popjoy’s Restaurant.

Ceremonies Beau Nash was living in at the time of his death – would do something to ensure his memory lived on.

The 18th century building – alongside Bath’s Theatre Royal – changed hands recently after the Bath branch of the Strada chain of Italian-styled restaurants closed on September 1st.

The new board in place outside Ciao Ciao.

The new board in place outside Ciao Ciao.

It was where Beau Nash died 253 years ago.

He had been in very reduced circumstances for some years after Parliament outlawed the gambling games which had provided his income.

He had also been in the care of his mistress Juliana Popjoy.

You were able read all about it on a sign-written board outside – which l assume was put there by Popjoy’s Restaurant – a more recent occupant.

It was a feature tourists stop to take in but time and weather has taken its toll and l argued  – unless the board was re-done – its information was going to be lost.

A closer view of the new board.

A closer view of the new board.

Well l  am pleased to say the new owner has done just that.

A new board is in place and the story of its famous former occupant is there for all to read.

The new restaurant is to be called Ciao, Ciao and its owner is Bath businessman and restauranteur Kambiz Shayegan who happens to also own the Raphael restaurant and bar – just across the Sawclose.

It’s a nice gesture Mr Shayegan and something for all your customers to think about as they dine under the same roof as the former ‘King’ of Bath.




Out to dazzle at Bath’s Victoria Gallery

Out to dazzle at Bath’s Victoria Gallery

Bath based artist John Eaves has a new exhibition at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Victoria Art Gallery from Saturday, September 6th. John Eaves: Small Beginnings will run until until 23 November 2014.
Jon Benington, Manager at the Council-run gallery commented: “These vibrant compositions in paint, crayon and collage will dazzle the viewer in this show by one of our most distinguished local artists.” This exhibition mounted by Bath & North East Somerset Council demonstrates Eaves’ continuing concerns with landscape sources, from geological strata and trees to glowing sunsets. These ‘beginnings’ formed the basis for larger studio improvisations.

John Eaves, Split Decision, oil on canvas, 2011

John Eaves, Split Decision, oil on canvas, 2011

Eaves is well known locally as an artist and musician and the rhythms and colours of his paintings reflect his love of jazz, which is always playing in his studio.
He was born in 1929 and trained at the Bath Academy of Art between 1949 and 1952 and went on to work as Course Director for part-time courses in the visual arts at Bath College of Higher Education between 1958 and 1985.

He is a member of the Royal West of England Academy.
The theme linking all works in the show is that of vivid, boldly applied colour. As the artist has commented: “The images I make now run parallel to nature rather than rely on direct observations or reminiscences. Echoes and sonorities of landscape will inevitably persist, but above all, if the paintings succeed, I hope they breathe optimism.”
John Eaves’ work reminds us that our relationship to colour is primal: an original and constant sympathy. There is no concerted effort to represent; but the desire to express formal arrangements is striking. He takes inspiration from Emil Nolde’s mythically-inflected North German landscapes with their elemental paradoxes of colour, and Paul Cezanne for the relationship between forms.
John Eaves has exhibited throughout Great Britain and Germany. His paintings are in both national and private collections, notably the Arts Council, Bristol City Art Gallery and the city of Braunschweig, Germany. In 1966 he was awarded the first Churchill Fellowship as a painter and received a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship in 1986.
In 1985 Eaves produced a painting called ‘Blue Spreading’ which Ikea turned into a best-selling poster in 1991 and more than 45,000 copies were sold. In this new exhibition, all exhibits are for sale.

Modern Masters in Print

Modern Masters in Print

This autumn Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Victoria Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition of prints from some of the most famous artists from the 20th century.

Modern Masters in Print runs from Saturday, September 6 – Sunday November 23, 2014, and explores the printed work of four of the 20th century’s greatest artists: Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol, Untitled from Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn), screen-print on paper, 1967. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Victoria and Albert Museum, London and DACS, 2014

Andy Warhol, Untitled from Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn), screen-print on paper, 1967. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Victoria and Albert Museum, London and DACS, 2014

The touring exhibition has been curated by the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Gill Saunders, Senior Curator of Prints at the V&A.

Each artist used the print in his own way. For Matisse and Picasso, printmaking was one of the many artistic media they employed. They used it to explore themes and motifs from other areas of their work.

For Dalí, printmaking was an exercise in experimentation, and through it he developed many imaginative new processes. Warhol’s prints were his primary means of expression and central to his body of work.

His screen-prints based on mass-produced images challenged the concept of the ‘original’ print.

Together these four artists spanned a 75-year period that saw the birth of the modern age. They covered a wide range of techniques, and their work represents one of the most creative and diverse periods of printmaking in the history of western art.P1090368

Councillor Ben Stevens, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “We’re proud to be hosting such a prestigious exhibition which brings together four of the greats of modern art. This is a show for all those interested in 20th century art and an opportunity to compare and contrast their achievements.”

Tickets cost £3.50 with concessions. There will be a lunchtime talk every Thursday from 12.30-1.10pm which will be free to ticket holders.

The Victoria Art Gallery is open from Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 5pm and Sundays 1.30pm – 5pm. It is closed on Mondays.

New Director for Holburne Museum

New Director for Holburne Museum

The Trustees of Bath’s Holburne Museum have announced the appointment of Jennifer Scott to succeed Alexander (Xa) Sturgis as Director.

The Holburne's new Director Jennifer Scott, Photograph Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

The Holburne’s new Director
Jennifer Scott, Photograph Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Jennifer comes from Royal Collection Trust where she has been a curator since 2004. Prior to this she worked at the National Gallery, London and National Museums, Liverpool. Jennifer has curated a number of major exhibitions for The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh, The Bowes Museum County Durham and The Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels.
Jennifer gained her BA and MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Her publications include books on Royal Portraiture and Dutch and Flemish Art. Jennifer became a welcome and familiar face when she worked with the Holburne team on one of the Museum’s most popular exhibitions ‘Rembrandt and his Contemporaries: Paintings from the Royal Collection’ in 2013.

Richard Fleck, Chairman of the Holburne Trustees said: ‘We are delighted to announce Jennifer’s appointment as Director of the Holburne Museum. Jennifer has the energy, imagination and leadership to succeed Xa Sturgis and ensure the continued success of the Museum as it moves to the next stage of its development.’

Jennifer Scott said: ‘After ten happy years at Royal Collection Trust, I am excited to be appointed as Director of the Holburne Museum. Xa Sturgis has led the museum with ambition and flair through its spectacular renovation. I look forward to working with the team of staff, volunteers and trustees to continue this momentum, building on the Holburne’s reputation for cultural excellence.’

High spirits at the Holburne.

High spirits at the Holburne.


Portly squires and young dandies – Jane Austenesque heroines and their gruesome chaperones – dashing young officers and corrupt politicians. The absurdities of fashion, the perils of love, political machinations and royal intrigue were the daily subject matter of Thomas Rowlandson(1757–1827), one of the leading caricaturists of Georgian Britain.

Doctor Convex and Lady Concave, 20 November 1802 Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827) Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Doctor Convex and Lady Concave, 20 November 1802
Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827)
Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Rowlandson’s incisive and enduringly popular caricatures are celebrated in an exhibition from Royal Collection Trust which is coming to the Holburne Museum from Saturday, September 27th through to February 8th, 2015.

The exhibition is called High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson and will bring together some of the artist’s finest prints and drawings from the important collection of his work, held in the Royal Collection.

In Rowlandson’s time, the satirical print was one of London’s most important artistic products, and he made a major contribution to the success of this genre. Such works were collected by the fashionable for their albums, pasted to walls and screens as decoration, and laughed over at dinner parties and in coffee houses.

Among Rowlandson’s eager collectors was the young George, Prince of Wales (1762–1830), later George IV, himself a gambler, drinker and magnet for scandal.

At the same time, the Prince and his brothers had a fraught relationship with caricaturists, often finding themselves the butt of vicious attacks on their lifestyle, affairs, and attempts to interfere in politics.
Rowlandson turned his pen on Britain’s enemy Napoleon Bonaparte, the fast-living Charles James Fox, the ambitious William Pitt the Younger and the glamorous and scandalous Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. London high society, too, was the focus of many of his caricatures, which revelled in the absurdities of fashion, the cult of theatrical celebrity and the perils of love. Not even Bath could escape his sardonic eye. Also on display will be some of Rowlandson’s gentle English views which, though never intended as satire, are infused with gentle humour.
Comical, irreverent, clever and prolific, Thomas Rowlandson produced work which is as amusing today as it was when it was published. His witty prints and drawings provide a first- hand account of political machinations and royal intrigue set against the comedy of manners that was Georgian Britain.
The Holburne’s showing of the exhibition will include a specially selected group of prints inspired by life in Bath: the complete series of twelve Comforts of Bath and the 1810 satire Bath Races.
First shown at The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh Friday, 22 November 2013 to Sunday, 2 March 2014. Showing at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, in 2015.
Catalogue published by Royal Collection Trust:
High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson by Kate Heard, 2013

Biba boss in Bath

Biba boss in Bath

An internationally-famous fashion icon will be visiting Bath in September at the invitation of staff at the city’s world-renowned Fashion Museum run by Bath & North East Somerset Council.

Barbara Hulanicki OBE, who founded the famous Biba fashion brand in London during the early 1960s, will be talking about her life, career and work at a discussion on Monday, 8 September.

The iconic Biba brand is one of the best-loved names of British fashion, with many women having great memories of shopping at Biba in London in the 1960s and 70s. The audience will have an opportunity to hear at first-hand how Barbara created her company and brand.

Fashion MuseumBarbara is one of the great names of fashion and has come especially to Bath, for one night only, for an exclusive ‘in conversation’ discussion in the Tea Room at the Assembly Rooms in Bath with leading fashion writer Professor Iain R Webb, of the Royal College of Art, about her publication of a new book THE BIBA YEARS: 1963-1975.

The discussion has been organized by Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Fashion Museum, which includes ensembles by Biba among its extensive collection, working in close association with the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Barbara’s book is a V&A publication.

Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), the Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “We are privileged to welcome Barbara Hulanicki to Bath.

“Since the Fashion Museum is one of the top ten museums of fashion in the world, it is appropriate that it should host this event. The Museum often works in collaboration with other major UK fashion museum collections.

“It is difficult to overestimate the influence of Biba on a whole generation of women and the Fashion Museum is proud to be working with such a world-renowned fashion icon. In addition, Iain R Webb has a close partnership with the Fashion Museum and is one of our senior advisors.

“The Fashion Museum gift shop has one of the most comprehensive selections of books on fashion in the country, and is much sought after by students and professionals as well as lovers of fashion.”

Founded as a boutique mail-order service in 1963, Biba quickly gained cult status in London during the early 1960s and 70s. The company outgrew several premises before landing at 99–117 Kensington High Street, London, in 1973 as ‘Big Biba’, ‘the most beautiful store in the world’.

Today, Barbara Hulanicki is an established interior designer and continues to create innovative designs. She is working on her 30th collection for George at ASDA and designing for her latest venture Iconclub.

Tickets for the discussion are priced at £15 or £12 for Discovery Card holders from Bath Box Office. Following the talk Barbara Hulanicki will be signing copies of her new book, which was co-authored with Martin Pel.

Last week to enter book competition.

Last week to enter book competition.

A previous entry.

A previous entry.

This year’s Recycle an Ex Library Book Competition closes on August 30th.

To be in with a chance of winning a prize supplied by this year’s sponsor “The Makery” drop your entries in at Bath Central Library before Saturday 30th.

The Exhibition of all entries will open from Wednesday 3rd of September where you will be able to vote for your favourite.