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In the Groove: Gertrude Hermes and the Natural World (10th February – 1st May)

The Broadway Museum and Art Gallery when it opens its doors on the 10th of February , following its usual winter closure, will begin a programme to add new displays to offer its visitors an even greater insight into the history of Broadway.

These displays will tell the story of Broadway’s wool years, 1100 to 1550, in the context of its setting in the Cotswolds and reveal Broadway’s coaching heritage which covers the history of the village from the 17th century up until the arrival of the railways in the 19th century . More displays and interpretation pamphlets will be introduced during 2017.

The museum’s special exhibition also opening on the 10th of February 2017 is, In the Groove: Gertrude Hermes and the Natural World, featuring the work of one of the most innovative wood engravers of the twentieth century. Gertrude Hermes OBE (1901–1983) developed a highly distinctive style that combined technical virtuosity with bold imagination.

The exhibition has been curated by Dr. Caroline Palmer, Print Room Supervisor at the Ashmolean Museum. She said: “Before coming to work at the Ashmolean, I had not come across the name Gertrude Hermes, but when I discovered her prints and sketchbooks, I was bowled over by the bold, distinctive style of her images.

“Although she trained alongside Henry Moore, Hermes has never become a household name, in the way that he has, so it is wonderful to have this opportunity to share her work with a wider audience.”

Hermes was the first woman engraver to be elected an Associate of the Royal Academy, becoming a full Royal Academician in 1971, in recognition of her inspirational work as a printmaker, sculptor and teacher. Drawing on the rich collections of the Ashmolean Museum, this exhibition demonstrates Hermes’s enduring fascination with the natural world – from her Jazz Age bird, fish and flower prints to her monumental coloured linocuts of the 1950s.

Hermes’s love of nature is evident in all of the prints displayed, including her illustrations for Gilbert White’s Natural History of Selborne (1932) and Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler (1939). Yet these are not conventional animal pictures by any means. Her creatures – bat, spider, starfish and toad –have a strange ‘otherness’, hinting at nature’s more sinister undertones.

Palmer added: “Her work spills over with exuberance, and especially with a love of nature. The images brought together here are of flowing water, flowers, birds and fish, all full of life and movement. I think they have a great deal to say in the current era of climate change about man’s place at the heart of the natural world. They emphasize the importance of looking closely at the extraordinary plants and creatures that surround us, and help us to appreciate their special character.”

The exhibition runs until 1st May 2017. Normal admission charges apply: Adults £.5.00 (16+) Family £10.00 Children (5-15 years): £2 Under 5s free.
For more information telephone 01386 859047 or email: