NEWS - comment on the Cambridge exhibitions

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

independent turner societyClarence's exhibitions in Cambridge continue until late September. Catch them while you can.

In the latest newsletter of the Independent Turner Society, from Selby Whittingham..."Margaret Burr continues to expand her invaluable turnerintottenham site devoted to Turner's important patron B.G.Windus. Another important purchaser of late Turners was Elhanan Bicknell, a neighbour of the Ruskins and one of whose sons married a daughter of David Roberts RA. Peter Bicknell (to whom our late Vice-President Stanley Warburton wrote a warm tribute in Turner Society News in 1996) with Helen Guiterman published Roberts' very revealing memories of Turner's last years (still not fully absorbed by the Turner biographers). Another son, A. Sidney Bicknell, poured cold water on the idea of preserving Turner's Chelsea cottage (see my Mrs Booth of Margate).

"A third son of Elhanan was Clarence Bicknell, whose biography, Marvels, by Valerie Lester had its launch, which I attended, at the Fitzwilliam Museum on 20 June. This impressive and well-illustrated work has been instigated by the Clarence Bicknell Association masterminded by the nephew of Peter Bicknell, Marcus. Clarence was attracted to the Oxford Movement and ordained, but, for various reasons including the developments in biology and geology of the time, which had similar effects on John Ruskin and maybe also his friend William Kingsley, abandoned the church, though he remained of a more benign Christian disposition than exhibited by his brother Sidney. His legacy lies in the Museo Bicknell at Bordighera and the delightful watercolours he made of wild flowers, some of which are exhibited at the Fitzwilliam and his alma mater, Trinity College Cambridge till September 2018."