Festival
  • 1. William De Morgan and painted by Halsey Ralph Ricardo, Amphora with Peacocks, about 1888-1898. Image © Museums Sheffield William De Morgan and painted by Halsey Ralph Ricardo, Amphora with Peacocks, about 1888-1898. Image © Museums Sheffield
  • 2. Ruskin Linen Industry, Child's Pinafore, 1890's. Image © the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield. Ruskin Linen Industry, Child's Pinafore, 1890's. Image © the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield.
  • 3. The Virgin Adoring the Christ Child ('The Ruskin Madonna'), Andrea del Verrocchio. Image © National Galleries of Scotland. The Virgin Adoring the Christ Child ('The Ruskin Madonna'), Andrea del Verrocchio. Image © National Galleries of Scotland
  • 4. TM Rooke, Badia of Fiesole, 1887. Image © the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield. TM Rooke, Badia of Fiesole, 1887. Image © the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield.
  • 5. Octavia Hill, 'Portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan', after Bellini, 1859. Image © the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield. Octavia Hill, 'Portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan', after Bellini, 1859. Image © the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield.
  • 6. WIlliam Morris, Kelmscott Press - Nature of Gothic, 1892. Image © the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield. William Morris, Kelmscott Press - Nature of Gothic, 1892. Image © the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield.
  • 7. Albrecht Durer, Knight Death and the Devil, 1513. Image © the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield. Albrecht Durer, Knight Death and the Devil, 1513. Image © the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield.
  • 8. John Ruskin, Traceries from Caen, Bayeux, Rouen, Beauvais', Sketch towards 'The Seven Lamps of Architecture', 1849. Image © the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield. John Ruskin, Traceries from Caen, Bayeux, Rouen, Beauvais', Sketch towards 'The Seven Lamps of Architecture', 1849. Image © the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield.

In the Making: Ruskin, Creativity and Craftsmanship

Sat 23 Jan 2016 – Sun 05 Jun 2016 In the Making: Ruskin, Creativity and Craftsmanship (open )

Curated by Museums Sheffield, this exhibition explores Victorian critic and scholar John Ruskin’s ideas on making, bringing together work by artists including Grayson Perry, Susan Collis, Edward Coley Burne-Jones and Ruskin himself.

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A new exhibition opening at the Millennium Gallery in January takes the ideas of Victorian critic and scholar John Ruskin as a starting point to explore the act of making. In the Making: Ruskin, Creativity and Craftsmanship will see paintings, drawings and publications by William Morris, Albrecht Durer and Ruskin himself go on show alongside work by contemporary artists, including Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry.

John Ruskin believed the act of making represents the perfect convergence of human spirit, skill and material. For Ruskin, creative effort shapes an artist or artisan just as they in turn shape the stone they sculpt or the fabric they weave. This new exhibition curated by Museums Sheffield will explore Ruskin’s ideas through a broad range of historical and contemporary art and craft. In the Making will go on show in the both the Millennium Gallery’s main exhibition space and it’s Craft & Design gallery, as well as in the building’s main thoroughfare.

In the Making will feature many works drawn from Sheffield’s own collections, complemented by a series of significant national loans from collections including those of the V&A, National Galleries Scotland, and Arts Council England. Amongst the works on display will be The Virgin Adoring the Christ Child by Verrocchio (about 1470), Albrecht Durer’s Knight Death and the Devil (1513) and John Piper’s Stained Glass Window Sketch (1942-43), as well as examples of Ruskin’s own work. Shown alongside them will be work by a range of work by contemporary artists and makers, including Grayson Perry’s Spirit Jar (1994) and Claire Barclay’s Quick Slow (2010).

The Millennium Gallery’s Craft & Design space will focus on the work of artists and craftspeople who create by stitching, sewing, weaving and dyeing. Demonstrating the diversity of makers’ approaches to textile production, works on display will span exquisite 17th century linen and lace through to striking contemporary textile work by Tracey Emin.

The exhibition also debuts four specially commissioned works inspired by the Ruskin collection. These will include a new installation by Sheffield-based wood craftsman Henk Littlewood and visual artist Mir Jansen. Using a whole Oak tree from ‘Ruskinland’, an area of woodland in Worcestershire’s Wyre Forest, they will create an immersive shelter- like structure in the gallery space exploring Ruskin’s thoughts and contemporary reflections on his ideas.

Also on show will be new works by artists Hannah Downing and Amber Hiscox. Downing’s intricate work on paper references Ruskin’s attention to small details of the natural landscape in his own approach to drawing. Hiscox’s impressive glass work combines traditional and contemporary approaches to manufacture, including the use of labour-intensive medieval recipes for staining glass using silver and copper salts.

The two exhibition spaces will be linked by a new installation from artist Harriet Popham. Created especially for In the Making, the work will see the floor of the Millennium Gallery’s main thoroughfare covered with a series of vibrant prints inspired by objects in the Ruskin Collection.

In the Making: Ruskin, Creativity and Craftsmanship opens at the Millennium Gallery 23 January 2016 and continues until 5 June – entry is free.

In the Making is funded by the Guild of St George, an organisation founded by Ruskin in 1871 with the broad aim of making the world a better place for humankind. The exhibition forms part of The Year of Making, a major city-wide initiative celebrating Sheffield’s international reputation for innovation and excellence in making.