My 5 Favourite Artworks in the Collection

My 5 Favourite Artworks in the Collection

By: Jane Brown, Gallery Manager

The Atkinson has a wonderful and varied collection of artworks. Choosing just five of my favourites was very hard!

Pygmalion and Galatea, 1886 by Ernest Normand

61-Pygmalion and Galatea - Ernest NormandI love this painting because of the beautiful myth it is based on. The gifted sculptor Pygmalion creates a sculpture so beautiful he falls in love with it and preys to the goddess Venus to bring it to life. This work by Ernest Normand captures the sculptor’s amazement and joy as his creation Galatea comes to life. It is thought that Normand based Galatea on his wife the artist Henrietta Rae. This beautiful painting is a love story hidden in a love story.


The Bathers, 1922 by Frederick William Jackson

I hold a special place for this atmospheric painting by Frederick William Jackson because I did a presentation about it in my interview for this job. It has a bitter, sweet feeling to it that stays with you. I reminded me of my trips to the seaside with my family, trying to swim in the cold British Sea.

You can see The Bathers on Art UK here.

Lilith, by John Collier

B188 - Lilith - John CollierI couldn’t draw up a list like this without including Lilith by John Collier. Lilith is one of our most popular paintings in the collection and it’s easy to see why. It’s a beautiful painting with a fascinating story to tell. Lilith is the mythical first wife of Adam who was thrown out of the Garden of Eden for refusing to be subservient. Collier pictures her plotting with the serpent to get her revenge. Lilith is the original woman scorned – and I can’t help but love her.




The flame, c.1917 by Jacob Kramer (1892 – 1962)

990 - The Flame - Jacob KramerThe flame might just be my favourite painting in the collection, in fact its one of my favourite paintings anywhere. Jacob Kramer was deeply spiritual and in this early painting he is attempting to present his sitters spirituality as a flame. The result is a moving, expressive and unusual portrait. Whenever I come across it in the store I can’t help but spend a couple of minutes looking at it again.


12 Objects, 12 Etchings, aquatint, 2010 by Rachel Whiteread

Now I have a confession to make about this … I acquired this work for the Gallery at last year’s London Original Print fair after receiving an award so I am a little bias; I chose it for the collection so of course I love it! The objects in these prints are all drawn from a range of found objects that Whiteread keeps in her studio. Some are very everyday and others seem completely alien. I loved what it told me about Whiteread and her process. It raises a lot more questions than it answers. I wanted to know more, about the objects and about Whiteread. That’s my favourite type of art; something that leads me somewhere and doesn’t start and stop at the same piece of work.

You can see 12 Objects, 12 Etchings on Paragon Press here.

Posted on 16 January 2017 under Exhibitions

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