Glimpse of a long-lost Britain at art show

Sheffield Millennium Gallery Exploring changing face of Britain Museums Sheffield Curator Lucy Cooper and Rebecca Lim, Head of South Kensington Exhibitions at V&A with Grainfoot Farm, by Kenneth Rowntree
Sheffield Millennium Gallery Exploring changing face of Britain Museums Sheffield Curator Lucy Cooper and Rebecca Lim, Head of South Kensington Exhibitions at V&A with Grainfoot Farm, by Kenneth Rowntree
0
Have your say

A painting of a Peak District farm later submerged by a reservoir is among the highlights of a Sheffield art exhibition.

Kenneth Rowntree’s 1940 painting of Grainfoot Farm, Derwentdale, Derbyshire – which was later submerged by the Ladybower Reservoir –is part of Recording Britain, which opens at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield city centre tomorrow.

The Recording Britain project was set up by art historian Sir Kenneth Clark at the start of World War Two to capture the country’s changing face during the conflict.

More than 90 artists took part, creating portraits of buildings, landscapes and lifestyles which were all under threat.

The Rowntree painting serves as a good example of the initiative’s aims, depicting Peak District countryside that would soon be lost forever.

More than 1,500 pictures were completed between 1939 and 1943, and the exhibition features 70 highlights on loan from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Featured are evocative pictures of quiet villages, bustling market towns, ancient parish churches and vanishing rural industries embodying the ideals that Britain was fighting for.

Lucy Cooper, Museums Sheffield exhibition curator, said: “What’s incredible about Recording Britain is not only its ambition and scale, but its success.

“The collection is a fascinating, moving insight into a nation on the brink of change, and we’re thrilled to be able to share so many of these wonderful works.”