Alfred Heaton Cooper Exhibition


Marking 150 years: Alfred Heaton Cooper (1863–1929) "A Painters Journey”This summer marks the 150th anniversary of landscape painter Alfred Heaton Cooper’s birth. To celebrate this landmark event, the Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere has created a unique temporary intervention or ‘pop-up gallery’ space to exhibit various aspects of his remarkable life and work. The founding Father of four successive generations of the Heaton Cooper family, this commemorative exhibition "A Painters Journey” features paintings, sketchbooks, photographs and artifacts from some of the many countries he spent time in. Works from Morocco, Norway and the Edwardian Lake District, alongside book illustrations for A&C Black, unfold the story of how the son of a Manchester textile worker left behind the drab, industrial grime to travel widely and become a successful artist. After gaining a scholarship to study in London in his early 20’s, Alfred met the prominent artist Sir George Clausen, one of the leading painters of landscape and rural life, who became his teacher. A lifelong fascination for painting lakes, streams, rivers and seascapes developed, together with a love of natural scenery, which eventually allowed him to form his own style, often portraying scenes of a Lake District that has now disappeared. A pivotal moment in his life arrived on a painting trip to Norway, where he met and married his Norwegian sweetheart before moving back to the Lake District in 1898. This exclusive exhibition will undoubtedly herald one man’s vivid passage through a series of evocative landscapes. Recently, the Studio was granted planning permission to extend and re-model the existing building in order to create a new permanent gallery out of a large storage room (the old painting studio of Alfred’s son – William). This new space will display various works of art from within the considerable Heaton Cooper archive, alongside a programme of changing exhibitions, representing a distinctive range of artistic responses to the landscape and social history of the Lake District and Cumbria over the last 130 years. It is therefore entirely appropriate that the legacy of Alfred’s life and work should help launch the Studio’s development project, whilst continuing to inspire the work of many future generations of artists.

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