Touring with Turner

5th March 2019

News

Plates of engravings from Wadham Library’s copies of the Oxford Almanacks have gone on display as part of The Young Turner exhibition, currently at Blenheim Palace.

This touring exhibition celebrates a successful campaign by the Ashmolean Museum to acquire JMW Turner’s unrivalled painting of The High Street, Oxford, which is on display in the exhibition.

This touring exhibition celebrates a successful campaign by the Ashmolean Museum to acquire JMW Turner’s unrivalled painting of The High Street, Oxford, which is on display in the exhibition. 

This masterful view of Oxford is accompanied by an exhibition exploring the young Turner’s interest in architecture and the development of his skills in the art of perspective. 

The Young Turner: Ambitions in Architecture and the Art of Perspective presents some of the artist's first commissions and most celebrated topographical works, focusing on his increasing expertise in depicting architecture and perspective from the 1780s - 1810s. 

Among the loans from the Ashmolean, Tate and other private collections are Turner’s first sketchbook and diagrams from his Royal Academy lectures in perspective, which have rarely been exhibited before. 

Works from the Wadham Library copies of the Almanacks, published between 1801 and 1808, include:

  • A View of the Chapel and Hall of Oriel College, published in the Oxford Almanack of 1801
  • View of Oxford from the South Side of Headington Hill, published in the Oxford Almanack of 1808
  • View of Worcester College, published in the Oxford Almanack of 1804.

    These plates have been removed from the Almanacks by expert conservators at the Ashmolean and will be returned to their bindings after the exhibition. 

The exhibition is at Blenheim Palace until early April 2019. It will be at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum from 04 May to 13 July 2019 and Banbury Museum from 28 Sept 2019 – 11 January 2020. 

The Ashmolean Museum has several volumes of the Oxford Almanack on long-term loan from Wadham College. Many of the Wadham prints in this exhibition are engraved by James Basire after Turner’s watercolour designs.