There was a busy programme of Barber Association events at the gallery and beyond in 2017.
In July, the Association was officially launched with a Saturday afternoon tea party that focussed on the loan to the gallery of the Monet masterpiece, Water Lily Pond, from the Art Institute of Chicago. As well as tea and cakes, 300 Members and Patrons were treated to talks on Monet and on the fashion for water gardens by the Barber’s Assistant Curator, Helen Cobby, and Head of Winterbourne, Lee Hales. And as well as enjoying the Monet in the gallery, visitors were able to gain complimentary entrance to Winterbourne House and Garden to see their real Japanese Bridge and water lily pond. (See pictures in gallery 1, right)
Members and Patrons were welcomed to In Rehearsal/In Conversation in September – an exclusive opportunity to see the Barber Opera company in dress rehearsal for their production of Popora’s L’Agrippina (1708), before hearing the MA Art History student curators share their experiences of curating More Real Than Life: 19th-century Portrait Photography. Patrons were also invited to a special VIP Reception before the first performance of L’Agrippina, where they were introduced by the show by the Director, Daisy Evans and the Music Director, Peyton and Barber Professor of Music Andrew Kirkman, before enjoying the opera itself.
Barber and Ikon Patrons mingled in November at a special reception, held at Ikon Gallery, to mark the loan of two of the Barber’s prints for Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz. Ikon Director Jonathan Watkins provided a tour of the exhibition, exploring the extremely moving and intense work of one of the leading German artists of the early 20th century. (See gallery 2, right)
Patrons also enjoyed the exhibition launch for Pride and Persecution: Jan Steen’s Old Testament Scenes on 26 October. Following a welcome given by Nicola Kalinsky, Professor Christopher Brown CBE – Henry Barber Trustee, former Director of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and expert on Dutch Golden Age art – gave an introduction to Jan Steen and the exhibition. (See gallery 3, right)
More than 50 Patrons and Members joined us for a special event on 8 November – Jan Steen: An evening of music and art. Guests heard Robert Wenley – Deputy Director and Head of Collections, Barber Institute – give an introduction to the exhibition before enjoying an exclusive evening viewing of the exhibition, and the Barber’s collections, to the strains of 17th century Baroque cello music performed by Imogen Seth-Smith, sub-principal cellist for both the Academy of Ancient Music and the Symphony of Harmony and Invention. (See gallery 4, right)