Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918) was a man of letters, an artist, author, traveller, botanist, archaeologist, pastor, humanist and Esperantist. Born in Herne Hill near London, Clarence was the 13th child of Elhanan Bicknell, whale oil magnate and art patron. After studying at Cambridge University he was an Anglican priest for 15 years, then from 1879 lived in Bordighera on the Italian coast between Menton and Genoa; he died at his summer home nearby in Casterino in the high mountains of the Franco-Italian border on 17th July 1918.
Welcome to www.clarencebicknell.com, the web site launched in July 2013 as a commemoration of Clarence's life and work, and as home to the Clarence Bicknell Association. Outside Bordighera, Clarence might be the forgotten genius of 19th century science, arts and crafts. Our activities aim to put that right, i.e. make him known to a wider public across France, Italy, the UK and worldwide.
Give now. The 2018 Clarence Bicknell Centenary Fund, in cooperation with the International Institute of Ligurian Studies is now open for donations. If you would like to give now then click on the donate button below or go to the page on this site which has more details. Please also inform any friends who you think might like to donate.
The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell - the film. The 18 minute documentary biopic of Clarence Bicknell, in the evocative visual style of French director Rémy Masséglia, was released at selective screenings in September/October 2016 (see the list on this site at >Association > Events or here). Watch the film in HD 1080 here now by clicking on the film box, left or the Vimeo link below. Use a big computer screen or smart TV and make sure the audio is turned up...
The French, Italian and the Esperanto versions are similarly available on www.vimeo.com/clarencebicknell. You can find out more about the film on the FAQ sheet, in English here, version en français, in our newsletter, in the text of the screenplay of the film and in the story of the making of the film.
We are preparing exhibitions, screenings, seminars and other events for the 2018 centenary of Clarence's death, with Saturday 21 July already earmarked for the Museo Bicknell in Bordighera. We have yet to secure a publishing deal for the biography of Clarence Bicknell, so if you know a publisher keen to take it on then please put us in touch.
The Centenary exhibition and events calendar is presently as follows:
• Chiesa Anglicana, Via Regina Vittoria, I-18012 Bordighera (IM), 8-22 October 2017 (every day 15h30-18h30) *
• Museo Clarence Bicknell, Via Romana 39, I-18012 Bordighera (IM) , 24 Oct - 30 Nov 2017 (Mondays 9-13h and 14h30-17h, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9-13h)
• London, Sandro Migliarini - Travellers on the Italian Riviera, Leyton Great Hall, 1 Adelaide Rd, E10 5NN, from 12 October 2017, with projection of The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell and Marcus Bicknell presentation on Sunday 15 October at 5pm)
• Bristol, Clarence Bicknell and The Bristol Botanists; presentation by Graham Avery, University of Oxford, and projection of The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell, at the Bristol Naturalists Society on Wednesday 22 November, 7.30 pm, at Westbury on Trym Methodist Church, Westbury Hill, near Bristol BS9 3AA.
• Genoa, Palazzo Reale (spring 2018, to be confirmed)
• Nice, le mardi 22 mars 2019, 18h à la Société Centrale d'Agriculture, d'Horticulture et d'Acclimatation de Nice et des Alpes-Maritimes. Projection du film et conférence Marcus Bicknell et autres. Détails en français cliquer ici.
• Cambridge University, Fitzwilliam Museum, botanical art exhibition (5 June- 9 September 2018)
• Cambridge University, Fitzwilliam Museum, lunchtime seminar and film projection (Wednesday 20th June 2018)
• Cambridge University, Jesus College Intellectual Forum seminar and film projection in the Frankopan Hall (date to be advised)
• Cambridge University, Jesus College Intellectual Forum exhibition in the Frankopan Hall (date to be advised)
• Oxford University, film and a seminar at Oxford University, St Margaret's Institute http://www.smi-oxford.org.uk on Tuesday 3rd July 2018
• Bordighera, Museo Bicknell (early July to November 2018)
• Bordighera, Museo Bicknell, Settimana Bicknelliana 14-22 July 2018
• Tende, Musée des Merveilles (July-September 2018)
• London, Artworkers’ Guild (to be confirmed)
• Monaco, Jardin Exotique (September-November 2018)
• Monaco, Musée d’Anthropologie (September-November 2018)
• Ventimiglia, Museo Rossi (summer 2018, dates to be advised)
• Nice, Exposition sur la thématique "Botanistes et Alpinistes dans les Alpes-Maritimes entre les deux siècles" organisé par la Ville de Nice avec la participation des Amis du Muséum d'Histoire naturelle de Nice, Le Muséum d'Histoire naturelle de Nice, La Grande Bibliothèque "Louis Nucera" (BMVR), La Bibliothèque de Cessole, Le Club Alpin Français et l’Association Clarence Bicknell (octobre 2018)
* October 2017 exhibitions in Bordighera are curated by Susie Bicknell and entitled "Clarence Bicknell’s Passion for Flowers revealed in his Art" with display text in Italian, French and English.
Interviews with Marcus Bicknell and Clarence's biographer Valerie Lester on Riviera TV, March 2017; click on the following link:
This website provides
- information for researchers and a place to share the results of research,
- more on Clarence and his talents for those discovering him,
- details of the Clarence Bicknell Association and how to join, and
updated 22 Jan 2018 MB