Dartmoor: A Wild and Wondrous Region

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Friday, 17 March 2017
10:00 - 17:00 | Royal Albert Memorial Museum
Royal Albert Memorial Museum
Art
art file

22 December to 31 March 2018

Gallery 21
Free Entry 10am to 5pm Tue to Sun

The largest exhibition of historic Dartmoor landscape art in a generation will look at how 18th and 19th century artists helped shape the way we see Dartmoor today.

Dartmoor: A Wild and Wondrous Region will show how Dartmoor’s sites inspired generations of artists using a wide range of media: oil paintings, watercolours, engravings, early photographs and even postcards. Works from RAMM’s collections will be supplemented by loans from British museums and galleries as well as private collections, many rarely seen in public.

This exhibition traces the story of Dartmoor, from an ‘awful’ and ‘dreary mountainous tract’ that was best avoided, into the epitome of the ‘picturesque’. The transformation in the popular view of the moor was largely brought about through the imagination of visiting and local artists. J.M.W.Turner was a tourist and his work inspired others to follow in his footsteps. Thomas Rowlandson parodied the arrival of these tourists. Samuel Palmer celebrated Dartmoor’s sublime landscapes and inspired him to some of his finest work. The coming of the railways brought ever greater numbers of tourists to Exeter and Dartmoor, locally based artists such as William and F.J. Widgery catered for this market and made Dartmoor landscape art immensely popular. Through railway posters and postcards the work of artists even contributed directly to the tourist trade.

Dartmoor: A Wild and Wondrous Region is a partnership with Dartmoor National Park, and forms one of the main public outcomes of the HLF Landscape Partnership-funded Moor than meets the eye scheme.