ALFRED STEVENS BICENTENARY
2017 marks the bicentenary of the birth of Alfred Stevens (1817-1875), the Blandford-born renowned artist, designer and sculptor. He was born in 1817, the son of a decorator and joiner. At the age of ten, he entered his father's workshop as an assistant. Recognising his artistic talent, the Rector of Blandford, the Hon Rev Samuel West, sponsored Alfred to go to Italy in 1833. Although he was only sixteen when he left, he travelled widely there and developed a passion for Italian art.
After returning home in 1842, Stevens was given a tutorship at the New School of Design at Somerset House.
A significant body of his work is held by the Tate Gallery, but his crowning achievement is the Memorial to the Duke of Wellington in St Paul’s Cathedral.
Our May 2017 Monthly Meeting featured a talk by Dr Dennis Wardleworth on Stevens. It was an extremely interesting and informative talk, greatly enjoyed by those present.
Additionally, to commemorate Stevens and bring this often overlooked artist into the public eye, BAS is sponsoring and co-organising two events in Autumn 2017 in conjunction with the Blandford Town Museum:-
- A unique exhibition of drawings by Stevens, based on material held by Blandford Town Museum and augmented by other original sketches on loan from the Drury Collection, will be on display in the Museum for the first time from 1 August through to 31 October, Monday to Saturday, 10.00am-4.00pm. Admission is free. There will also be an Exhibition Preview on Friday, 28 July: 5.00-8.00pm, to which you are invited.
- There will be a talk in Blandford Corn Exchange by author and architectural historian, Dr Teresa Sladen, on Saturday, 23 September: 7.30pm, entitled 'Alfred Stevens - From Blandford to Italy and Back'. Dr Sladen is an authority on Stevens and is currently writing a book about him. You are encouraged to put the date in your diary! Entrance is free, but tickets may be required (details to follow).