Preston’s Harris campaign to restore old painting

The View of Preston from Penwortham Hill painitng which needs repair
The View of Preston from Penwortham Hill painitng which needs repair
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A campaign to restore a Preston painting from 1821 has been launched with the opening of a new art exhibition.

Idyllic scenery, derelict barns, and farmers toiling the land all feature in a new display at The Harris Museum and Art Gallery.

‘Rural Life in Art’ shows how artists have depicted life on the land, including a number of works featuring Preston and Lancashire landscapes.

And the highlight of the showcase is ‘View of Preston from Penwortham Hill’ painted by John Jenkinson in 1821, which the Friends of the Harris are aiming to preserve.

Alex Walker, head of arts and heritage at the museum, said: “‘View of Preston from Penwortham Hill’ was received by the Harris in the 1950s in a damaged condition and is not usually exhibited – but we have put it on display with a public appeal for funds towards its conservation.

“People can donate online by visiting www.thebiggive.org.uk and searching for Preston Painting Campaign.

“If we meet our target of £4,400 it will be conserved at the Lancashire Conservation Studio here in Preston.”

The exhibition comprises three different themes; ‘A Green and Pleasant Land? Rural Life in Art’, ‘Contemporary Rural Life: Photography from Myerscough College’, and ‘The Rural Idyll: Ceramics A Green and Pleasant Land? Rural Life in Art’, including both historical works from the collection and new work by artists from the region.

The collection also features Preston landscapes and work by Anthony Devis, Thomas Wade, Adrian Stokes and Norman Stevens.

A public opening took place on Thursday evening.

Coun Veronica Afrin, cabinet member for culture and leisure services at Lancashire County Council, said: “We are delighted to be showing three very diverse exhibitions which are all inspired by rural life.

“There is something for everyone from contemporary digital work exploring the human impact on the landscape to traditional ceramics which focus on the romantic ideals of the countryside.

“It’s the perfect exhibition for everyone to enjoy this summer.”

To coincide with the rural theme, families can also pick up a ‘Year on the Farm’ trail and enjoy art activities during a special ‘Fantastic Farming Day’ on August 27 from 11am to 3pm.

See www.harrismuseum.org.uk for more information.