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The Watercolours of Robert Evans Creer Exhibition 11 September 2008

A temporary exhibition displaying ‘The Watercolours of Robert Evans Creer’ will open at the Manx Museum in Douglas on Saturday 13th September.

Between the Beardhown and the GroveBorn in Ramsey in 1838, Robert Evans Creer was an entirely self taught artist. He moved to Liverpool at an early age, working at the Mersey Docks and Harbour board and later as manager of a bakery. However he returned regularly to the Isle of Man to visit family and on these visits he would sketch numerous rural scenes, these often depicted a way of life and a landscape which was beginning to change on the Island.

Looking across to Slieau Froghane from Glen WyllinCreer travelled the length and breadth of the Island sketching a variety of rural and coastal scenes, often recording farms belonging to his various relatives. These sketches were transformed on his return home to Liverpool into watercolours that would become a permanent record of his visits and of a Manx landscape of thatched cottages and horse drawn carts that was about to disappear.

Cottage of Manx Poet William KennishYvonne Cresswell, Curator for Social History at Manx National Heritage said:

“The Isle of Man in the 1870s and 1880s was moving away from its rural past and embracing new industries and new technologies. The mines at Laxey and Foxdale were in full production and the rapidly developing tourism industry was bringing new prosperity to thousands as the resort of Douglas grew. It is interesting that Creer did not depict any of these modern scenes preferring to focus on fondly remembered scenes from his childhood, his watercolours provide a unique record of the Manx landscape showing farm buildings long since demolished or altered and the tranquillity of quiet country lanes.”

The exhibition at the Manx Museum is drawn from a collection of over one hundred of Creer’s paintings recently bequeathed to Manx National Heritage by one of the artist’s descendants for preservation in the National Art Collection.

A private view of the exhibition will take place on the evening of Thursday 11th September at which the exhibition will be officially opened by Valerie Cottle, author of Gold-Dust and Calm : a collection of watercolours by Robert Evans Creer. A private viewing of the exhibition with members of the Creer family and exhibition curator Yvonne Cresswell will also take place the following day.

The exhibition can be enjoyed by the public at the Manx Museum in Douglas from Saturday 13th September 2009 until Saturday 10th January 2009 (open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm). Admission to both the Manx Museum and the exhibition is free of charge.

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