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Companions' News

Companions are invited to submit news of publications, exhibitions, lectures and other matters of interet to the Guild and the wider Ruskin world via

Click or tap here for a full list of current Companions of the Guild.

Read our e-Newsletters by clicking or tapping here.


New Publications: 12th November 2016

2016 Ruskin Lecture by Bernard Richards.

An account and analysis by Prof David Ingram of botanical books formerly owned by Ruskin and purchased by the Guild in 2015.

RUSKIN AND TOLSTOY (2nd Edition) - £10.00
A revised and expanded version of the 2010 Ruskin Lecture by Stuart Eagles.

Visit our Shop to order.


‘The Big Draw’ and Apple Day Celebration

Thursday 27th October to Saturday 29th October 11- 4

Come for ONE of three days to discover the delights of drawing, or celebrate Apple Day on Saturday in the Wyre Forest, all organised by the Wyre Community Land Trust

St Georges Farm, Ruskin Land, Bewdley.
Disabled parking only at St George’s Farm.
No dogs please. Stay for as long as you like!

Bring a picnic. Tea, juice and cake for sale.
Make charcoal and draw big horses.No experience necessary!
Fun for all the family.

On Saturday, make juice and identify apples.
Paint, draw and print with apples.
Booking essential : 01299488083

Click or tap the poster below to watch a short video.

eNewsletter August 26th 2016

As you keenly watch the door awaiting your copy of this year's edition of The Companion (being posted out after the UK Bank Holiday weekend), here's a round-up of forthcoming Ruskin events. Please click on the links for further information on the web.

Craftsmanship-To-Day: A Symposium on Modern Making
will take place at the Art Workers’ Guild in London on Saturday, 24th September (10am-4.30pm). The independent writer Tanya Harrod, and sculptor Emily Young, will be joined by a wide range of leading craft practitioners and professionals to discuss the key issues. You can read a description of the symposium by organiser Marcus Waithe on our website, where you can also download the full programme and crucially find out how to book your place.

On Saturday, 27th August at Roycroft Campus, East Aurora, New York, Clive Wilmer, Jim Spates, Joe Weber and Alan Nowicki will present a series of papers at a day of special events to explore Ruskin, Morris & Beauty: The Importance of the Arts & Crafts.

North-American Development Officer, Dr Sara Atwood, will be giving lectures in Los Angeles, California. The Levan Institute Lecture on 31st August, and the Ruskin Art Club Ruskin Lecture on 1st September, address questions about Ruskin and Education, one of Dr Atwood's areas of expertise.


On Sunday, 11th September (Noon-4pm), the final event of the RUSKIN in SHEFFIELD 2016 programme will take place at Meersbrook Park, Sheffield (entrance: Brook Road S8 9FL). Celebrating Meersbrook Hall: Ruskin, Whit Sings & the Park is a celebration of Meersbrook Hall and Park with activities suitable for all the family, including a Makers' Fair, food stalls, a guided tour, and displays exploring the history of the home of the Ruskin Collection from 1890 to 1953. There will be an opportunity for visitors to learn about the exciting plans for the future of Meersbrook currently under development. Huge congratulations are due to Ruth Nutter, Producer of RUSKIN in SHEFFIELD, for organising another successful year of events. The Guild is grateful to Arts Council England for funding this event.

From Friday 16th to Sunday 18th September, Holy Trinity, Sloane Square (actually on Sloane Street, Chelsea) will be hosting the first of what they hope will become an annual Arts & Crafts Festival. The weekend will consist of Pleasure in Labour, an exhibition of Ruskin and Morris archive materials, and an exhibition of work by the late Mary Catterall, a sculptor and Ruskin enthusiast. There will also be creativity workshops and tours of Holy Trinity itself, a beautiful Arts & Crafts church. On Friday, 16th September (6-7pm), Robert Hewison will deliver a lecture on Ruskin and Morris, 'Pleasure in Labour' and on Saturday, 17th September, The Earthly Paradise, a concert of music and literature based on the poems of William Morris will take place. A dedicated website is expected soon.

Finally, you may be interested to listen to your favourite poets and poems at the Poetry Archive. Rumour has it that you can even hear one C. Wilmer Esq...

*   *   *
eNewsletter July 30th 2016

Craftsmanship-To-Day: A Symposium on Modern Making
will take place at the Art Workers’ Guild in London on Saturday, 24th September. The independent writer Tanya Harrod, and sculptor Emily Young, will be joined by a wide range of leading craft practitioners and professionals to discuss the key issues. You can read a description of the symposium by organiser Marcus Waithe on our website, where you can also download the full programme and crucially find out how to book your place.

The latest offering in the RUSKIN in SHEFFIELD calendar is Ruskin’s Use & Beauty Parlour. Based on The Moor, in Sheffield city centre, outside Atkinson’s, this temporary creative space will be open every day from Saturday, 30th July to Friday, 12th August, from 11am to 4pm. A Special celebration of this two-week long festival of hands-on activities and workshops, suitable for all the family, will take place on the last day (Friday 12th August) from 1-3pm.

Do please get involved and encourage family and friends to go down to The Moor to check out what’s happening.

Companions Neil Sinden and Lynne Roberts, who live at St George’s Farm in the Wyre Forest, have been running a series of seminars to consult a wide variety of people and organisations about plans to develop the Guild’s assets at Ruskin Land. The last of these seminars took place on 14th July at the London offices of the Campaign to Protect Rural England. On that occasion, Companion Sara Atwood, our North American Development Officer, got the day off to a stimulating start with a talk entitled ‘“The secret of sympathy”: Ruskin and the Language of Nature’. You can read her paper on the Guild’s website, where you will also find a link to a blog by Belinda Gordon of CPRE describing the event. Please remember to follow Neil’s blog, News from Ruskin Land, which also includes an account of the day.

You will be pleased to hear that production of this year's issue of The Companion is now in its final stages, and Companions will be receiving a copy next month. Another bumper edition, it is a mixture of reports, reviews and essays about aspects of the Guild’s work, with a particular emphasis on our projects and events over the past twelve months or so. Feedback, and contributions to the next issue, are always welcome. Any non-Companions interested in purchasing a copy can find out more by writing to me at

Frank Salmon, President of St John’s College, Cambridge, will be giving a lecture entitled 'Monumental, Refined and Urbane: Victorian Architecture and Renaissance Venice' on Monday, 26th September. He will consider some key Victorian buildings and their Venetian sources, and ask why it was that so many mid-Victorian architects and their patrons paid such little heed to Ruskin’s arguments. You can read more and book online here.

Cmaions might be interested to know about a project taking place in Hertfordshire.

Elm Barn at Thrift Cottage, Burnham Green, is based on the traditional 18th-century elm barns of Hertfordshire. All the Elm was sourced locally. The barn evokes the rural tradition of the parish before the advent of the industrial revolution.

You can get involved in the project by attending courses or volunteering. It is a hands-on way to learn specialised carpentry skills and to contribute to the creation of something useful and beautiful.

You can watch a short video here.

To get involved tomorrow (Saturday, 30th July) and to find out more, please email Robert Somerville

Please remember that you can read about our forthcoming events on the Guild website (including several talks in North America over the summer in California and New York). And please bookmark the RUSKINin SHEFFIELD website to see everything that is coming up in that rich programme of events produced by Ruth Nutter. We'll tell you more soon about how you can join us on 11th September in Celebrating Meersbrook Hall (the home of the Ruskin Museum in Sheffield in the first half of the 20th Century).

We always welcome your news and views and we look forward to seeing you at a Guild event soon.

Guild e-Newsletter July 5th 2016


I am sure you will want to join with me in welcoming our new Administrator, Martin Green. Martin lives in Sheffield and brings his administrative experience to support the Guild’s work and continuing development. You can write to him at

Having stepped down from the traditional role of Secretary, I become the Guild’s Communications Officer. I remain your first point-of-contact, and you can reach me on

I will continue to answer general and Companion enquiries, handle publicity for Guild events, and edit and design the magazine, website, social media and so on.



Please put Saturday, 24th September in your diaries. Our next symposium, Craftsmanship To-Day, taking place at London’s Art Workers’ Guild, and organised by Companion Dr Marcus Waithe, promises to be a stimulating event with many prominent writers on-- and practitioners of -- craft. You can read all about it here:

Full booking details, including the chance to book directly online, will appear there soon.



Heartfelt congratulations to Companions Canon Dr David Peacock, former Principal of Whitelands College, who was appointed an OBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List for his outstanding work to help rehabilitate offenders and ex-offenders.



Please keep an eye on the RUSKIN in SHEFFIELD website for information about recent events, and events forthcoming over the summer:

These community-focused activities to celebrate Sheffield’s Ruskin heritage are continuing to prove both fruitful and popular and, as always, Companions are warmly encouraged to take part.

The next event is the Open Day at Freeman Bio-Dynamic Garden (Ruskin Mill Trust) at Stannington on Saturday, 16th July. See below (click to enlarge).


You are invited to join us at Ruskin Land on Sunday, 24th July for the Butterfly Picnic. See below for detail (click on the image to enlarge).


We have been delighted by the response to all of our recent events. Inspired by Ruskin, a roundtable discussion co-sponsored by Manchester Metropolitan University, looked at issues of sustainability from a variety of different perspectives. We heard talks from representatives of ShareAction (the ethical investment group), 42nd Street (the mental-health charity for young people based in Manchester), Ruskin Mill (the education trust), Unto This Last (the London-based furniture makers), the Wyre Community Land Trust (which operates from the Guild’s land near Bewdley and looks after its woodland there), and students involved in research and activity connected with Ruskin’s values and ideals.

We plan to add a page to the website shortly in order to bring together these contributions. Do keep checking back—the website is constantly being updated.



It is with great sadness that we note the death last week of the poet, Geoffrey Hill, at the age of 84. Many of you will know that Hill was deeply influenced by Ruskin’s writings. He will be sorely missed.



Ruskin Library brings masterpieces online with the Google Cultural Institute

[30 June] - ­ Starting today, over 50 artworks from the Ruskin Library at Lancaster University can be viewed online by people around the world due to a new partnership between the Google Cultural Institute and the Ruskin Library.

Thanks to this new virtual exhibition, at the click of a button users will be able to see a selection of the Library’s stunning collection of watercolours, drawings and daguerreotypes (early photographs) by the Victorian writer and painter John Ruskin.

Get up close with ultra-high resolution images

Ruskin’s ‘Church of St Wulfran’ is one of 30 pieces of artwork that can now be viewed in never before seen definition thanks to Gigapixel technology, a powerful photo capturing process which has enabled the highest ever resolution image of the piece.

Viewers can explore it in extraordinary detail and experience it far beyond what is visible to the naked eye – zoom in close enough and viewers can see how Ruskin used tiny pencil marks and shading to detail the roof tiles on the small houses by the river.

Virtual tour with Street View

Using the Street View feature, people can move around the Ruskin Library virtually, selecting works that interest them and clicking to discover more or diving into the high resolution images, where available.

A specially designed Street View ‘trolley’ took 360 degree images of the galleries which were then stitched together, enabling smooth navigation of public areas within the Library.

Digital exhibit

A specially curated virtual exhibit ‘Ruskin’s Venice’ has been developed by experts at the Ruskin Library, which gives the online visitor access to the art and architecture of nineteenth century Venice, meticulously recorded by Ruskin before much of it was destroyed in the name of restoration.

Some of the stand out items of the online exhibition are:

Professor Stephen Wildman, Director of the Ruskin Library, said: “This new partnership has given us an extraordinary platform from which to share our unique collection with millions of people.

“It makes our collection accessible and enjoyable not only to people who physically visit the Library, but to anyone with a computer or smart phone around the world. It also means that people can access the treasures of our collection all year round, even when they are not on display physically in the Library.

“We hope it will be an invaluable resource, giving people new ways to learn and teach about the life, work and legacy of John Ruskin.”


About the Ruskin Library

The Ruskin Library is an Art Gallery and archive devoted to the Victorian artist and author John Ruskin (1819-1900). The building, designed by Sir Richard MacCormac of MacCormac Jamieson & Pritchard, represents Ruskin’s Venice and his interest in Northern Italy and was built specifically to hold the Whitehouse Collection of material relating to John Ruskin. The Collection contains diaries, manuscript letters, photographs, drawings and paintings by John Ruskin and his associates, and books, including some from his personal library.

The public art gallery is open Monday-Friday throughout the year (free admission) showing changing exhibitions relating to John Ruskin and his contemporaries; the reading room, open by appointment, is for those wanting to view items from the collection.

About Google Cultural Institute

The Google Cultural Institute and its partners are putting the world’s cultural treasures at the fingertips of Internet users and are building tools that allow the cultural sector to share more of its diverse heritage online. The Google Cultural Institute has partnered with more than 1000 institutions from 70 countries, giving a platform to over 200 thousand artworks and a total of 6 million photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents of art, culture and history. The exhibitions on the Google Cultural Institute are open for all online, for free on the web and through the new Google Arts & Culture mobile app on iOS and Android. Read more here.





e-Newsletter (14/6/2016)

Dear Companions and Friends,

Welcome to our latest e-Newsletter. Please find below information about forthcoming events, a special announcement and a short account of the recent Companions’ Weekend.


(1) MAKE GOOD LIVELIHOODS (18th-19th June, Sheffield)

A weekend of free craftsmanship demonstrations, talks and hands-on activity in Sheffield will take place this Saturday and Sunday, the 18th and 19th June

Ever thought about carving out a living as a craftsperson? See the amazing range of craftsmanship skills that offer a satisfying living to people in Sheffield. Find out where you can earn and learn in the city by visiting four very different city-centre venues.

For full details of this and other forthcoming events, please visit the RUSKIN in SHEFFIELD website.


This full-day roundtable will feature speakers who are making a difference. They will share their stories of working to make a better, more sustainable society, with the Victorian thinker John Ruskin as a source of inspiration.

Convened by Companion and Director Dr Rachel Dickinson (Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Cheshire Faculty, Manchester Metropolitan University), the event is co-sponsored by the Guild of St George.

The event will take place between 10am and 4pm on Saturday, 25th June at 70 Oxford Street, Manchester. Tickets are £5 and must be booked online where you can also see the full programme for the event.

(3) CRAFTSMANSHIP SYMPOSIUM (24th September, London)

Companion Dr Marcus Waithe (Magdalene College, Cambridge) is organising a symposium called Craftsmanship To-Day: A Symposium on Modern Making. It will be take place at the Art Workers’ Guild, London, on Saturday, 24th September. Please put the date in your diary! A range of distinguished writers and practitioners will address issues and themes touching on the tradition and modern practice of craftsmanship. This occasion promises to be a stimulating and engaging occasion. You can read about it on the Gulld website’s Symposium page.



We are delighted to congratulate Companion Professor Dinah Birch on being awarded the CBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours. We know you will want to join us in sending her heartfelt best wishes on this achievement.



The Guild was very pleased to welcome about thirty Companions and guests to both days of our Companions’ Weekend on 10th and 11th June.

At Sheepscombe, in Gloucestershire, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of the gift from Margaret Knight of the wildflower meadow, St George’s Field. To mark the occasion, we unveiled a faithful copy of the original sign that greeted visitors to the meadow. Constructed from Wyre oak, it was made by Wyre Community Land Trust volunteers, with lettering by Robert Cox, facts that are recorded on a brass plaque that we have placed on the back of the sign. We were treated to a splendid meal in the Ruskin Studio later that day, complete with delicious Dexter beef from Uncllys Farm.

On Saturday we enjoyed a hugely interesting visit to Beaucastle, the house in Bewdley built In the 1870s by the Guild’s second Master, George Baker. Afterwards, we visited Ruskin Land for an update from John Iles, Tim Selman, Neil Sinden and Lynne Roberts on developments at St George’s Farm and the surrounding woodland. We were joined by a delightful mix of long-serving Companions and new ones, guests and experts. There are so many people to thank, but special mention should be made of Professor David Ingram, Kate Gamez and Rob Wolstenholme for talking so expertly at Sheepscombe about the wild flowers and the management of the field; Dale and Alex Parmeter, who own Beaucastle and so generously opened it up to us and guided us around; and Directors John Iles and Jenny Robbins who oversaw the practical arrangements. You can read a delightful account of the event on Neil Sinden’s News from Ruskin Land website. Please follow this important and fascinating blog, and read his account of the Weekend here.

I hope to see you at one of our events soon. As always, we welcome your comments, feedback and ideas.

Warmest best wishes,




e-Newsletter (26/5/2016)

This email is to remind you of three forthcoming events in June, and to draw your attention to other events and opportunities, past and future.


1. COMPANIONS' WEEKEND (10th-11th June)

Please read full details of our Companions' visit to Sheepscombe and Bewdley on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th June on the Guild website here.

You MUST book and send payment to me no later than Friday, 3rd June. Download the booking form here.

2. MAKE GOOD LIVELIHOODS (18th-19th June)

A weekend of free craftsmanship demonstrations, talks and hands-on activity in Sheffield on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June

Ever thought about carving out a living as a craftsperson? See the amazing range of craftsmanship skills that offer a satisfying living to people in Sheffield. Find out where you can earn and learn in the city by visiting four very different city-centre venues. For full details visit the RUSKIN in SHEFFIELD website.


Join this round-table discussion in Manchester on Saturday, 25th June. Co-sponsored by the Guild and Manchester Metropolitan University, the event is organised by Guild Director, Dr Rachel Dickinson. Please read the full details and book online here.

4. THE ETHICS OF DUST (from 29th June)

Robert Hewison has written to say that a new art installation, partly inspired by Ruskin's work of a similar name, goes on display at Westminster Hall on 29th June. Read more here. Robert will be leading a "walk" at the installation on 21st July. Further details on request.



Dr Rachel Dickinson gave an excellent Whitelands Ruskin Lecture on 'Ruskin and Dress' on 13th May. Whether you were fortunate enough to hear her speak or not, you can purchase a copy of the printed lecture from our Director for Publications, Peter Miller. Copies cost £6 plus £1.50 postage and packing, or you can pick up a copy at one of our events. Peter can be contacted by email on

This year marks the 175th anniversary of Whitelands College. The Master and I were honoured to receive Anniversary Fellowships of Whitelands at the May Day ceremony on 14th May on what proved to be a most enjoyable occasion. The Master Clive Wilmer, former Master Jim Dearden, Companion Caroline Washington, Companion and former Principal Canon Dr David Peacock and I were also privileged to attend a spectacular service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on 24th May to celebrate the college's achievements. We offer the College's Principal, Companion Rev Dr Mark Garner, his staff and students, our sincere congratulations and express our gratitude for the excellent relationship between the Guild and College that we continue to enjoy.


The Master Clive Wilmer, former Master Julian Spalding, former Secretary Cedric Quayle, Companion Annie Creswick Dawson and I were among those at Trinity Buoy Wharf on 17th May to wish Companion Sue Grayson Ford all the very best as she leaves the Big Draw to become a blue badge guide. As you will know, Sue was the founding Director of the Big Draw, having run the Campaign for Drawing from its earliest days as a project set up by the Guild of St George. Julian and Clive were among those who paid tribute on the night to Sue's remarkable achievements. The Master presented a token of the Guild's appreciation for Sue's great contribution to our work. We wish her well for the future.


I would also like to thank and congratulate Companions Kay Walter, Paul Dawson and Annie Creswick Dawson for working together to give a range of Ruskin-related experiences to Kay's students visiting the UK from the University of Arkansas. Paul Dawson, the Chair of the Friends of Ruskin's Brantwood, and the editor of its Newsletter, has visited the University twice to give a range of lectures on Ruskin-related topics over the past year. Among the many highlights of the students' trip has been a visit to Brantwood, and in Sheffield they attended a reading by Companion Suzie Doncaster. I was delighted to be able to join Companions and students at Oxford on 22nd and 23rd May to see the sights. Many thanks to all.


Finally, please be advised that the deadline for the job of Guild Administrator is this Friday, 27th May. If you, or anyone you know, is interested in further details, please click here.

I hope that we will see many of you at the events planned around the country over the summer. Please do get in touch with any news, queries or suggestions. As always, your contributions are keenly welcomed.


Please be reminded of a series of forthcoming events, which you can read more about on our website. Do please contact me if you require any further information. We look forward to seeing many of you over the coming weeks.

Dr Rachel Dickinson will speak on Ruskin and Dress at Whitelands College (University of Roehampton) this Friday (13th May). The event will start with a free buffet at 6pm, and the lecture will run from 6.30 to 7.30. Please read more and follow the link to register for this free event here:

Please be advised that there are still a few tickets available for the May Festival at Whitelands College this Saturday (14th May). Please email me for further information as soon as possible..

COMPANIONS' WEEKEND (Friday 10th - Saturday 11th June
Everyone is welcome to join us at our Companions' Weekends (it is not restricted to Companions only). Many of you subscribe to the Ruskin Review and Bulletin published by the Ruskin Library and Research Centre at Lancaster University and you will have read Companion Professor David Ingram's excellent paper on the botanical books which the Guild purchased last year with the help of your generous donations. You will be able to read more in this year's Companion. We are delighted that Professor Ingram will be sharing his expertise with us in Sheepscombe. The weekend will also provide a rare opportunity to look around Beaucastle, the Gothic mansion built by the Guild's second Master, George Baker (the anniversary of whose birth too place yesterday, as a matter of interest). You can read the schedule for the weekend and download the booking form here:

The Big Draw team invites you all to help celebrate the achievements of Founding Director, Sue Grayson Ford MBE, and to wish her well in her next career as a London Blue Badge Guide.
This special event takes place from 6.30 to 9.00pm this Monday (16th May) at the Electricians' Shop, Trinity Buoy Wharf, E14 0JY. You will have an opportunity to see the 3rd John Ruskin Prize exhibition, Recording Britain Now: Society so if you cannot make the launch and private view a week today (Thursday, 5th May) then this special occasion provides an alternative date.For further directions and travel information, please see here.Please let the Big Draw team know if you can attend: full details and directions will follow. To RSVP, simply email director Kate Mason at

(RUSKIN in SHEFFIELD, 18th-19th June)

This is a weekend of free activities showcasing the diverse range of skills practiced by Sheffield craftspeople today. Find out how craftsmanship offers a satisfying living, and how you can get involved .The events, taking place at various locations across Sheffield, offers the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities in traditional and digital making for adults and children.
Read all about this and other RUSKIN in SHEFFIELD events here:

The Guild, in collaboration with Director Dr Rachel Dickinson and Manchester Metropolitan University, invite you to take part in a round-table discussion at 70 Oxford Street, Manchester, on Saturday 25th June. Booking is essential. Read all about it here:

“What is Art for?” – The Art Newspaper celebrates its first 25 years with debates at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the British Museum, London, the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, and the Vatican

To mark 25 years of publication, The Art Newspaper, the international news medium of the art world, is presenting “What Is Art For?”, a series of investigations into the role of art in contemporary society.

The US stage of the investigation will be at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, on Thursday, May 12, at 6.30pm, with director Glenn Lowry summing up. The first was in London at the British Museum, the second in the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. The Vatican will be hosting the fourth on 6 October 2016.

Anna Somers Cocks, founder-editor and CEO of The Art Newspaper, said: “I believe that we urgently need to debate the role of art in these tormented and frightening times, when we long for art to console or at least illuminate us, but so much of the art scene has been flattened by the market.”

Robert Storr, artist, critic and curator, said: “Art is beset on all sides as never before: at one extreme we have brutal ideological iconoclasts... on the other, wearing “white hats”, are yet other villains who ‘do evil by doing good’ and in the process love art to death. At the head of the pack are the billionaires who move trophy purchases from market to freeport warehouses to personal museums and back in a perpetual-motion machine of untraceable surplus capital. Never far from their elbows are the sycophants who ‘inspire’ them and the advisors who facilitate such transactions”.

Volkswagen is supporting the London and New York stages.

Details of the MoMA event:

Introduction and summing up by Glenn Lowry

The witnesses for art will be:
James Davis, who is part of the Google Cultural Institute, which aims to bring culture to people through technology. Previously, he was a curator at Tate, London.

J. Tomilson (“Tom”) Hill III, who is president and chief executive of Blackstone Alternative Asset Management, a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and a member of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a collector of Renaissance and baroque bronzes and of contemporary art.

Eric Kandel, who was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2000 for his research on the physiological basis of memory storage in neurons. His book Reductionism in Art and Brain Sciences: Bridging the Two Cultures, on the processes of the brain and Abstract Expressionism, is about to be published.

Lina Lazaar, who founded Jeddah Art Week (2013 and 2014). In response to the first Islamist massacre last year in Tunis, she mounted a major exhibition there entitled “All the World is a Mosque”, featuring conceptual works by Arab artists addressing the perversion of Islam by Isil and other forces.

The prosecutor will be:
Kate D. Levin, who is principal at Bloomberg Cultural Assets Management. Previously, she served as commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The event will be open to invited guests and members of the press.

The Art Newspaper at 25: What Is Art For?
Thursday, May 12, 2016, at 6.30pm

The Museum of Modern Art, 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019, Ronald S. and Jo Carole Lauder Building (east of the main entrance).


RUSKIN in SHEFFIELD 2016 Programme (15/4/16)

The full programme of events for RUSKIN in SHEFFIELD in 2016 is now online.

Download the full programme.

RIP Lord Asa Briggs (16/3/16)

We are deeply saddened to report the death at the age of 94 of Lord Asa Briggs. He gave the first of the Guild's Ruskin Lectures in 1978 and had been a Companion since that time. The BBC is carrying an obituary here.

Support the Big Draw (14/3/16)

Thanks to all of you who turned out in honour of The Big Draw at Christie's last night for the auction, It's Our World. As most of you know, the Big Draw is the new name for the Campaign for Drawing, an independent charity which traces its roots to a Guild of St George initiative. We continue to work together to promote those values of drawing and close observation that Ruskin articulated with exceptional clarity and eloquence throughout his life.

If you missed what was a most enjoyable and successful evening at Christie's, do not despair! An online auction continues until 24th March. 25 artworks, plus unique experiential lots, are awaiting YOUR bids at this special Christie's Online site. Please take a look and be generous in your support of this vitally important work.

3rd John Ruskin Prize (28/2/16)

The winners of the 3rd John Ruskin Prize were announced on Thursday, 25th February at the New Art Gallery Walsall. Many congratulations to Laura Oldfield Ford, Jessie Brennan and Robin Sukatorn. Read more here.

Dr Michael Hudson RIP (6/2/16)

We are sad to report the death on 24th January of Dr Michael Hudson. He had been a Companion since 1974.

Follow us on Facebook (1/1/16)

The Guild of St George now has a Facebook page. Updated every day, it will carry news, links and images from our events and the Ruskin Collection.


Work is a Four-Letter Word (1/1/2016)

Ruskin's ideas on work are explored in Archive on 4 on BBC Radio 4 at 8pm on Saturday, 2nd January. The programme, 'Work is a Four Letter Word' will feature the Guild's Secretary, Dr Stuart Eagles. You can listen to the programme online by clicking the image (left) after the programme has been broadcast.


Prizes and Projects (17/12/15))

Companions will remember that the Big Draw/Campaign for Drawing originated in an initiative of the Guild of St George. It is now a thriving independent charity with a global reach. In 2012, the Guild and the Campaign joined forces to hold an art competition, the John Ruskin Prize. We are delighted to inform you that the winning shortlist of 30 artists competing in the third Prize (Recording Britain Now: Society) has now been announced. You can read all about it - and view examples of the artwork - online.

The Ruskin Library reports that the John Ruskin Book Prize 2015 shortlist has also recently been announced. An initiative of The Ruskin Society, the winner will be announced at a Ruskin birthday event at Bloomsbury's Art Workers' Guild on the afternoon of Saturday, 6th February (details will follow). That occasion will also provide an opportunity to celebrate the recent publication of the Cambridge Companion to John Ruskin. You can read about the Book Prize here.

The Ruskin Society's Chairman, Companion Dr Cynthia Gamble, has recently published Wenlock Abbey: 1857-1919. A generously illustrated and beautifully-produced history, it explores aspects of the lives and work of Ruskin's wide circle. You can read more here.

Congratulations to Ken Jacobson and Jenny Jacobson. Their breathtaking book, Carrying Off the Palaces: John Ruskin's Lost Daguerreotypes was awarded the Apollo Book of the Year: read more here.

To continue the prize theme, Companions might also be interested to know that the University of Roehampton -- home of Whitelands College which hosts the May Day Ceremony that Ruskin instigated in the 1880s and where the Guild annually now holds the Whitelands Ruskin Lecture -- has called for entries in their Ruskin Poetry Prize. Read more here.

The Guild is very pleased to confirm that the RUSKIN in SHEFFIELD project will continue next year, with the exemplary Ruth Nutter producing more events and initiatives in Sheffield and its communities. There will be a particular (but not exclusive) focus on the Ruskin Collection in a year which will see the staging of the third of our Triennial Exhibitions, In the Making: Ruskin, Creativity and Craftsmanship. Details of the launch and Private View on Tuesday, 26th January 2016 will follow early in the new year, but please mark the date in your diary, and remember to look at our Events page for other forthcoming Events.

The year ahead promises to be both stimulating and exciting. Companions can expect to hear about developments in the Wyre Forest as RUSKIN in WYRE unfolds new plans and projects. Our North American branch continues to grow, and anyone interested in finding out further information should write to our Development Officer, Dr Sara Atwood.

As always, we thank all our Companions and Friends, and especially the great number of you who have joined us this year. Your support is vital to the success of the Guild. The mutual benefit derived from sharing ideas, expertise and enthusiasm has already delivered a great deal, but the future has never looked brighter and we look forward to undertaking together the promising journey ahead. We always encourage you to write to us with your feedback and thoughts, suggestions and contributions.

With all good wishes for an enjoyable Christmas, here's to 2016 and beyond as we continue our quest to advance Ruskin's ideas and values today.

Robert Hewison on Ruskin and Wilde (London lecture)

The Oscar Wilde Society will be hosting an evening with Robert Hewison at the Club for Acts and Actors on Thursday 18th February 2016. Read more here.

RIP Companion Derek Hyatt (1931-2015)

We are sad to report that the artist, Derek Hyatt, has died at the age of 84. He had been a Companion since 1990. An obituary has been published by The Guardian and can be read online here.


The Cambridge Companion to John Ruskin has just been published. Edited by Companion Francis O' Gorman, this collection of essays covers a broad range of topics. Several Companions are among the contributors: Emma Sdegno, Cynthia Gamble, David Sorensen, Dinah Birch, Marcus Waithe, the Secretary Stuart Eagles and the Master Clive Wilmer. Click on the book's cover to go to the publisher's website.

VAN AKIN BURD RIP (7th November 2015)

Many Companions are gathered today (7th November) in Sheffield for the Guild's AGM.

I am sad to have to report that Companion, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Van Akin Burd, passed away today. He was 101 years old.

His dear friend, Companions Prof. Jim Spates, writes:

"At four-thirty this morning, Saturday, November 7, 2015, Van Akin Burd, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at The State University of New York at Cortland, passed on, peacefully in his sleep. He was 101 years, 6 months, and 18 days of age. He died in the home where he had lived for over sixty years, 22 Forrest Avenue, Cortland, New York, a home he had shared with his beloved wife, Julia, and his equally beloved daughter, Joyce. (Julia passed away some years ago; Joyce presently lives in Valparaiso, Indiana.) He left from his own bed in his own room surrounded by his family and wonderful caregivers. I saw him last two days ago. Though his ability to communicate was by then impaired, we had a lovely visit, recollecting our many travels together in the service of the great Victorian to whom he had dedicated his life’s work, John Ruskin. Over the course of that dedication, he attained the status of the greatest Ruskin scholar of his time. He was my great friend, a description which I know he shared with so many of you who are receiving this email. More details will follow as I have them. In the meantime, I thought you would like to know. He will be missed immensely; is, in fact, already so missed."

If you knew Van, but have not heard directly from Jim, please feel free to contact Jim at the email address listed as the recipient of this email and he will be glad to keep you updated about arrangements.

Many of you will remember that we issued a special souvenir supplement to The Companion last year in celebration of Van;s 100th birthday. That publication was only able to give the merest hint of Van's achievements as a Ruskin scholar, his contribution as a Companion, and the affection in which he was held by so many friends and colleagues around the world and across many generations. We have lost one of the greats.

You can read the Guardian obtuary by Guild Master Clive Wilmer and Companion Dr Sara Atwood here.


At the start of November, a documentary was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 about 42nd Street, the Manchester-based mental-health charity for young people. Taking Art to the People explores the charity's Horsfall Project, which aims to reanimate the spirit of the Ancoats Art Museums established in the 1880s by philanthropist Thomas Horsfall along lines suggested by Ruskin in Fors Claivigera and embodied in practice in St George's Museum, Walkley, the original home of the Guild's Collection.

The Guild has provided financial and moral support to the project, and the Guild's Secretary, Dr Stuart Eagles, who appears on the programme, is the project's heritage consultant.

You can listen to the documentary online until the end of November 2015.

PAUL DAWSON (October 2015)

I am delighted to be able to congratulate Companion Paul Dawson on becoming the new Chairman of the Friends of Ruskin's Brantwood. Many of you will know Paul's exemplary work as Editor for many years of the Friends' Newsletter, Among his many notable contributions to Ruskin Studies are his painstaking research on the life and work of George Allen, Ruskin's publisher. He has recently completed a lecture tour of Arkansas where he has been talking to students and academics about Ruskin, Allen and their legacies.

He has also collaborated with. Companion Annie Creswick Dawson to write a major new book on the life and work of her great grandfather, the sculptor Benjamin Creswick. You can read a review on the Victorian Web.