From Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
As many of you know, I have for some time now been researching the history of art in Dundee during its first ‘golden age’ in the late 19th and early 20th century. I’m delighted to announce that my book Independent & Individualist – Art in Dundee 1867-1924 is now being published and I would like to invite you to the launch event on Monday 14 December at 5.30pm in Lecture Theatre 1, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee.
This lavishly illustrated book explores in detail the period when Dundee was recognised as one of the major art centres of Britain. In the late 19th century, the city staged the largest exhibitions of art outside London and hosted some of the most ambitious private art collections in Scotland. Following a significant development in art education, the number of professional artists working in the city increased dramatically. Thanks to the unique talents of John Duncan, Stewart Carmichael, George Dutch Davidson and others, Dundee developed a distinctive new style of art, a fusion of symbolism, decorative art and the Celtic Revival.
The city also produced exceptional talents working in landscapes and portraiture, such as David Foggie, Frank Laing and W B Lamond. At the same time, there was a boom in commercial art as Dundee became an important centre for newspaper and magazine illustration.
This is the first time that Dundee’s art culture has been studied in depth, placing the city’s artistic outputs in a social, economic and political context. One London critic described Dundee’s artists as a “fiercely independent and individualist school”, which has often led them to be overlooked by art historians. This book seeks to re-establish the significance of Dundee as “perhaps the most vital centre of art appreciation in Scotland.”
Guest speakers Clara Young and Jim Barnes will join me in giving short talks about some of the notable artists and exhibitions during this period, and the book will then be available to buy for the bargain price of £12 – the perfect Christmas gift!
After the launch, you can also purchase this excellent new book here.