Authenticity Hoo-Ha pt. 3: Is this Mr Glover’s sketch book?

Authenticity is what archives are all about.  Here is the last in my series of three blog posts on this subject.

Some months ago, I had a message from a researcher who had recently been looking at copies of an original document we hold, described in our catalogue as the sketch book of the antiquarian Stephen Glover (1794-1869). Stephen Glover is well known in this county as a pioneering antiquarian and compiler of trade directories, and naturally enough the researcher wanted to know how we had arrived at this attribution. It certainly was not from a signature, as none of the sketches is signed.

The answer was helpfully supplied by our colleagues at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery. A note in their files, stamped by the Derbyshire Museum Service, suggests that the book was purchased after having been identified as Glover’s work by an expert in English watercolourists.

So far, so good.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that the note made it pretty clear we had got the wrong Glover!  The note referred not to Stephen, but to John Glover (1767-1849), known as “the father of Australian landscape painting”.

When the Derbyshire Museum Service closed in 1992, the sketch book was among a large number of historic documents transferred to the custody of Derbyshire Record Office. I can only suppose that one of our archivists must have mis-read their own notes, and mentioned Stephen Glover in the catalogue entry by mistake. And we all know how long a mistake can endure once it has been put in writing, don’t we?

I certainly didn’t want to replace the mistake in the catalogue with another mistake, so needed an expert on John Glover’s work to verify all this. Step forward David Hansen, Associate Professor at the Centre for Art History and Art Theory, part of the Australian National University in Canberra. Prof Hansen took a look at some sample images from the book and quickly got back in touch to say this discovery had made his day: he was confident that they are the work of John Glover, and even suggested that the suggested date of c1810 might be a few years late.

John Glover was born at Houghton-on-Hill in Leicestershire, the son of William Glover and his wife Ann. He earned a strong reputation as an artist and drawing master and became president of the Old Water Colour Society in 1807. At the age of 64, in 1831, he moved to Tasmania. He was very active as a painter in his new surroundings and by the time of his death in 1849, Glover had made what would prove to be a lasting contribution to Australian art.

He may have been a Leicestershire man by birth, but there is a strong Derbyshire flavour to the work preserved in the pages of the book, including scenes of Haddon Hall, Ault Hucknall parish church, Kedleston Hall, Chatsworth House, Bolsover Castle and South Wingfield Manor.

A digital copy of the whole book can be viewed in our search room using CD/406 – or if you need to see the original itself, please order using the reference D3653/30.  To whet your appetite, here are some samples:

D3653 30 1_00082 Repton

Repton

D3653 30 1_00080 cattle

Some cattle and some people, drawn by John Glover.

D3653 30 1_00069 Bolsover Castle

Bolsover Castle

D3653 30 1_00026 Kedleston Hall

Kedleston Hall

D3653 30 1_00004 Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall

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The Junction Arts story

One of my main preoccupations of 2016 was the Junction Arts archive collection – and a fine preoccupation it was too.  Now comes an opportunity to share some of that experience with you – in the form of a specially-commissioned film, The Junction Arts Story:

Derbyshire Record Office’s first encounter with Junction Arts was back in 2012 when they brought a group of young people to carry out some research as part of a farming heritage project called Combine. A couple of years later, Junction Arts let us know that they were applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a community-based project relating to their archive material, to celebrate their fortieth anniversary.  We were only too happy to support the JA40 project application, especially as the proposal involved the transfer of the Junction Arts archive to us.

The application was successful. The unprocessed archive of four decades was passed into our care, and a team was assembled to set to work on appraising it and helping to catalogue it.  The team included present and former staff, trustees, academics, artists, and members of the public who had participated in Junction Arts projects over the years.  Also assisting were some pupils from Highfields School in Matlock who were taking part in a Prince’s Trust Excel course.

The project also commissioned original work from an artist in residence, composer Paul Lovatt Cooper, who visited us at the record office and spent an afternoon finding out more about the history of Junction Arts and looking through its archive material. His reflections on four decades of local artistic activity resulted in a piece of music called Valiants Arise, arranged for brass band with samba band.  Its first performance was at the Bolsover Lantern Parade in November 2016, very ably played by Whitwell Brass Band and Handmade Samba.

So how did the film come about? As part of the project, Junction Arts commissioned a film-maker, Chris Bevan, to produce a 20-minute documentary about the charity’s history, which saw its first public showing last December.  More recently, the film has been shown at the International Community Arts Festival in Rotterdam.

I have really enjoyed working with such a rich and varied archive collection. To quote from Junction Arts’s website: “The archive will be a great resource for the public and artists, and we have already had requests from artists to access the archive. The archive is unique in that this isn’t a body of work by one artist or one group. It is a myriad of artefacts and it represents the creative expression of hundreds and hundreds of local people. It tells the stories of people and communities that have experience so much change over the last 40 years through ‘art’ and this is incredibly rare”.

Most of the photographs and documents that illustrate the film come from the Junction Arts archive collection held here – if you would like find out more, you can always have a look at the catalogue of the collection.

Creepy House: creative models of Wingfield Manor

This week we have delivered the first of our 13 kids activity sessions as part of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. In line with this year’s theme, Creepy House, the typically enthusiastic children and just as enthusiastic parents in New Mills and Glossop created some fantastic and eery models of Wingfield Manor.

All sessions are free of charge and the children are encouraged to enter their work into our competition to win a new book. All competition entries will be displayed in the gallery wall at the Record Office in Matlock from 2 September for visitors to vote for the best ones. Still to come…

Derbyshire’s own Creepy House – Wingfield Manor: 15th century mansion, 16th century prison, 17th century fort, 18th century ruin

Discover the secrets of Wingfield Manor ready to build and design your own model of this creepy house

                Newbold Library, Monday 12 August, 10.30am – 11.30am

                Creswell Library, Monday 12 August, 2.30pm-3.30pm

                Dronfield Library, Monday 19 August, 10.30am – 11.30am

                Alfreton Library, Thursday 29 August, 10.30am – 11.30am

Breaking News! Family histories jumbled in crash: Use the clues to put the families stories back together and create a history suitcase for the next generation

Craft session to get children thinking about their ancestry

                Long Eaton Library, Wednesday 14 August, 2.00pm-3.30pm

                Eckington Library, Monday 19 August, 2.00pm-3.30pm

                Chesterfield Library, Friday 23 August, 10.30am – 11.30am

                Ilkeston Library, Thursday 29 August, 2.00pm-3.30pm

A Century of My Village: What was your village like when Queen Victoria was on the throne?

Use old photographs to make your own pop-theatre of the village

                Melbourne Library, Wednesday 14 August, 10.30am – 11.30am

                Bolsover Library, Friday 23 August, 2.00pm-3.00pm

If you would like to book please contact the appropriate library. More information about the Summer Reading Challenge can be found at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/libraries or by contacting your local library.

A wonderful morning at Bolsover followed by an inspiring afternoon in Chesterfield

Yesterday, Clare and I travelled to Bolsover and Chesterfield to hold two children’s events as part of the Summer Reading Challenge. We spent a very enjoyable morning at Bolsover Library hosting the very popular “History of You” craft session, with children and families creating and designing their own family trees and coats of arms;-

Our next History of You craft sessions are at Swadlincote and Ilkeston libraries on 7 August;-

Ilkeston Library, Tuesday 7 August, 2.30-3.30pm
Staveley Library, Thursday 16 August, 10.30-11.30am
Dronfield Library, Thursday 16 August, 2.30-3.30pm
Borrowash Library, Wednesday 22 August, 2.30-3.30pm
Matlock Library, Tuesday 28 August, 2.30-3.30pm

Events are free but booking is essential; please contact the library concerned to book a place. Find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge

Dungsworth Ada Petrina Greenhough Potter Green

The unfortunately named daughter of Thomas and Ellen Green was baptised in Bolsover on 27 March 1869. Her elder sister, Parnel was baptised on 29 April 1866.

Not surprisingly this family grabbed my attention, and I have endeavoured to identify if any of these unusual names had a particular family sentiment attached. However, my endeavours only seemed to complicate things further!

Father, Thomas, seems to be have been born Thomas Potter; when he married Ellen Taylor in 1854, he records his name as Thomas Green Dangsworth Potter. By 1861, he is Thomas Peter Green. It is almost by this name that he lives until 1896, dying as Thomas Potter Green. His son, Thomas, also used Peter and Potter interchangeably.

Not surprisingly, the subject of this post appears to have lived as Ada Petrina until her death in 1932.