Local Artist’s work returns home after 150 years!

Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Recent Work | 0 comments

Local Artist’s work returns home after 150 years!

We have recently acquired three exciting new additions to our collections thanks to the Friends of the Vale and Downland Museum.   A book and two silhouette style paper cuttings by local Victorian artist Jane Elizabeth Cook recently came up for auction in Amsterdam.  After a tense night watching the auction, the Friends were delighted to learn that they had won the Lot.

Jane Elizabeth Cook, (nee Robins) was a well known portrait artist before she married the headmaster of King Alfred’s Grammar School (headmaster from 1868 to 1884).  She devoted most of her married life to helping her husband in the task of improving standards, extending the accommodation and increasing the number of scholars at King Alfred’s.

Jane made the silhouettes to send to her son Theodore, when she could not be with him due to an illness.

In 1874 local firm Autotype produced a book “A Sculptor Caught Napping”, a collection of her paper silhouettes, which used a revolutionary new process for reproducing images. The silhouettes illustrate nursery rhymes, Sing a song of Sixpence and Rock a bye Baby.  Copies of the book were sold to raise money for King Alfred’s Grammar School.

The sihouettes are now on display in the museum’s galleries.  Find out more about Jane Cook.


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