25 July 2018
Lucy Kemp-Welch’s monumental painting In Sight! Lord Dundonald’s Dash on Ladysmith will feature in the December exhibition of women artists. This was made possible by the successful public campaign to fund desperately needed conservation work.
Devon artist Lucy Kemp-Welch was a trail blazer for women artists in her day. Her painting depicts the first relief column to reach the besieged town of Ladysmith, Natal in the second Boer War (11 October 1899 – 31 May 1902). It features Sir Winston Churchill, then a young war correspondent for The Morning Post (London).
The painting was completed in 1901, a year after the relief of Ladysmith on 1 March 1900. It was purchased in 1908 with a grant from the Kent Kingdon Bequest. Both the painting and the frame were in dire need of conservation and haven’t been on display for decades.
The Ladysmith appeal
Conservation in Action – Over £5,000 has been raised in public donations to the appeal and to the Friends of RAMM who have pledged the balance. After a phase of first-aid treatment conservators reassessed the painting and decided that it did not require full cleaning. This has reduced the anticipated cost of the conservation work to around £5,000 (Depending on what is revealed as work progresses– we will be keeping our fingers crossed!). The work will be lightly cleaned, unsympathetic and degraded historical fills will be removed, then losses will be filled and reintegrated by careful retouching.
Watch the conservators at work
In appreciation of the public support given, the conservation of the giant canvas will take place in RAMM’s gallery 20. Volunteers will explain conservation techniques and processes.Volunteers will explain conservation techniques and processes. Visitors can see the conservation of the painting on Tuesday 9 through to Friday 12 October and again on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 October.
Learn more about Lucy Kemp-Welch
Learn from art historian Dr Geri Parlby about the life and times of this extraordinary artist and her fight against a lifetime of discrimination. Organised by the Friends of RAMM, her evening talk, Lucy Kemp-Welch – Capturing the spirit of horses, is on Thursday 1 November 2018, tickets £9.
See the exhibition
Measuring 1,516 by 3,058mm, In Sight! Lord Dundonald’s Dash on Ladysmith will be a spectacular addition to the December exhibition of Exeter’s Fine Art by women artists. The exhibition features works from 1770’s to the 1980’s. Works include detailed early watercolour studies of birds and insects by Miss Ann Lee from 1770’s, views of Exeter after the blitz by the suffragette artist Olive Wharry (1886-1947) and works by the popular Victorian children’s book illustrator Kate Greenaway. Modern artists are represented by Barbara Hepworth, Mary Martin, Hester Frood, Primrose Pitman and Judith Ackland amongst others.