Glaciers Exhibition Opens at the Alpine Club
With increasing attention being given to the issue of climate change and the effect it is having on mountain environments, glaciers have been pushed into the fore of public consciousness. In our new exhibition, 'Glaciers', curated by Janet Johnson, we use the Alpine Club's extensive collection of mountain art work to explore the ways that glaciers were depicted prior to the advent of photography.
Today, glaciers are revered for their sublime beauty and hold a melancholy quality, serving as significant testimony to the impact of climate change. But in previous centuries, glaciers themselves, rather than their retreat, were something to be feared; moving their way through alpine valleys and sometimes crushing entire villages in their wake. They were powerful, elemental forces of nature. The watercolour and oil paintings in The Alpine Club Collection are a valuable historical record of the world's glaciers and humanity's relationship to them.
This new exhibition will showcase some of the finest works in our collection, including a number of rarely-exhibited hidden gems that have not been shown for a long time due to a need for special safe lighting or because they are in a delicate condition and require some repair.
Thanks to our digital partners, these works will also be available to view online. Ninety-four oil and watercolour paintings can be found on the Art UK website
while The Watercolour World
showcases a further 617 watercolours, including rarely if ever seen paintings from alpine artists’ travel sketchbooks as well as mounted watercolours stored in archival boxes. We are hoping to further increase the number of entries on both sites over time.
If you would like to view these remarkable pieces in person, the exhibition will run from 11 January - 31 March 2022 and is open every Tuesday and Wednesday from 12PM to 5PM
Our Digital Partners
To help bring our extensive art collection to a wider audience, The Alpine Club is working with two innovative partners, Art UK and The Watercolour World. Together, these two online portals provide an opportunity to place more of our paintings on constant digital display, allowing audiences to view, curate and purchase prints of their favourite pieces.
Art UK is an online art database that shows over 200,000 artworks from 3,000 venues across the UK.
Art UK was originally conceived as a database of oil paintings belonging to public collections. However, it now also shows a growing number of private collections (for example, the Oxford and Cambridge colleges). In addition to oil paintings, collections can upload images of watercolours and drawings. The site is free to access and non-profit making.
The Alpine Club is able to sell prints through the Art UK shop and license images for use in publications and for items such as wall calendars. All the images available on this website are out of copyright, (seventy years after the artist’s death).
The Watercolour World
The Watercolour World is also an online portal that showcases purely documentary watercolour painting through the ages.
‘Before the invention of the camera, people used watercolours to document the world. Over the centuries, painters – both professional and amateur – created hundreds of thousands of images recording life as they witnessed it. Every one of these paintings has a story to tell, but many are hidden away in archives, albums and store rooms, too fragile to display. The Watercolour World exists to bring them back into view. We are creating a free online database of documentary watercolours painted before 1900.’
At present it is not possible to buy prints from the website.