Leicester Decorative and Fine Arts Society

A member of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies

Breaking and latest news

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The Art and Architecture of Ireland and The Irish Country House Study Day  16 October

Glasgow School of Art - A Request for Help Following the Recent Fire

Shakespeare in Music  17 September 2014

June Graveson award presented by HRH Duchess of Gloucester

Church Trails      Mary de Castro church trail has had to be postponed.

National Trust bid to save Stoneywell, the Gimson House in Leicestershire

Membership form & Gift Aid form for 2013/14  

Gallery Exhibitions throughout the county in 2014

Link to the Victorian Society's Leicester web site

The Art and Architecture of Ireland and The Irish Country House

A Study Day with Tom Duncan    16 October 2014   Organised by the Grantham DFAS.

Click here for details, price and booking form.

Glasgow School of Art - A Request for Help Following the Recent Fire

We were all shocked to hear the news of the recent devastating fire at the Glasgow School of Art, our colleagues in the NADFAS Scotland and Northern Ireland Area have received an e-mail from the GSA Librarian, Duncan Chappell, thanking people for the many good wishes and expressions of support and initially looking for offers of donations of certain books only (due to space considerations) to help rebuild their resources.  The list of books can be downloaded here.

Duncan can be contacted at D.Chappell@gsa.ac.uk, if you are able to donate any of the books on this list.  Financial donations to help fund the restoration and recovery work can be made via the GSA website.

Shakespeare in Music  17 September 2014

Many members may be interested in a study day at Lamport Hall on 17 September 10am to 3pm with Dario van Gammeren, BMus, MPhil, PhD

The works of William Shakespeare have long been a sources of inspiration for composers. Shakespearean song settings, operas and instrumental music feature prominently in Western classical music.  Through the study of musical compositions that employ Shakespeare’s works as a basis for their content, this study day aims to develop attendees’ general awareness of literature in music and the development of various musical genres.  Fee £24.

Further details

June Graveson

Many of you will know June Graveson, East Midlands Area Church Trails organiser.  She was the energy behind starting the Young Arts ‘Take 5’ project for Leicester DFAS.  

June has received a Highly Commended certificate for services to Young Arts & Church Trails by HRH Duchess of Gloucester at the ‘Rising to the Challenge Event’ in London on November 12 to celebrate ‘Four Decades of Volunteering for NADFAS.’  

The Marsh Awards for Volunteering is to be an annual event. One prize for a group of volunteers and one prize for an individual.

(Highly commended for a group and individual). Quite an honour!

June created a marvellous display of material on the Luttrell Psalter Project and wore period costume for the display.

June kindly brought in her own copy of the Luttrell Psalter for the Leicester DFAS talk by Imogen Corrigan in April 2013

Church Trails

Several NADFAS groups in the East Midlands are creating Church Trails, aimed at children, to encourage them to explore the art and architecture of Churches.  Trails that are completed can be downloaded (questions and answers) by clicking here

Take the grandchildren out to explore!  New Trails being added as they are finished.

There is one which has been created for the Mary de Castro church in Leicester, unfortunately because of the problems with the spire this has had to be postponed.

National Trust has acquired Stoneywell - the Gimson house in Leicestershire

Still no news on Stoneywell, although the National Trust have got planning permission for the car park (which is a big step).  Lets keep our fingers crossed!

Quote from the National Trust web site:-

We have been offered Stoneywell, an Arts & Crafts cottage designed in 1899 by Ernest Gimson, one of the most inspiring and influential architect-designers of the British Arts and Crafts Movement.

Gimson’s drawing of Stoneywell

July 1898

Why save Stoneywell?

Set in the Charnwood Forest, Stoneywell is the only remaining cottage of its kind in Leicestershire. It’s one of only a handful of notable Arts and Crafts houses in England. It will also be only the second place we have in the county.

As well as the cottage, gardens, outbuildings and woodland, Stoneywell retains many of its original contents. There is also a significant archive which has a wealth of historical material.

Plans are being made to open the house shortly - keep looking to find out the latest news!.

The history of Stoneywell

Stoneywell, a Grade II* listed property, was designed in 1898 by the locally-born architect, designer and craftsman Ernest Gimson (1864-1919). Gimson was a well-known contributor to the Arts & Crafts Movement in England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with many connections to other key members of the movement including William Morris.

Gimson designed the cottage for his elder brother Sydney and wife Jeanie, and Stoneywell has remained within the family ever since.

The Gimson family

Ernest Gimson’s father, Josiah and his brother Benjamin, were also significant figures in Leicester during the 19th century when they set up the Gimson and Company factory in the city, making heavy machinery.

It was one of the largest employers in the city and prided itself on being a model employer in terms of wages and conditions of work. The firm cast the great beam engines which can still be seen at the Abbey Pumping Station and cast two bridges over the Grand Union Canal in Leicester.

Some more information on Stoneywell & Gimson

Below is an article written for us by a member, Douglas Smith, who used to live in a Gimson house in Leicester.

Ernest Gimson 1864-1919

He was born in Leicester, the son of Josiah Gimson of the successful engineering firm.

Early influences were Letherby, Ruskin and William Morris from lecturers at the Secular Society.

Gimson was articled to Isaac Barradale the local architect before he moved to London and was articled to J D Sedding in 1885.  In 1887 he travelled to France and Italy but returned to England and worked on modest projects.

White House. North Avenue. Leicester; 1897 Ernest Gimson designed for his brother Arthur is the best example of the two town houses.

It has an ‘L shaped Plan with the end gable ploughing into the Avenue like the bow of a ship.

Stoneywell 1898 was built for Sidney A. Gimson Ernest Gimson. It is in my opinion the outstanding design of the cottages built in the Charnwood Forest.

The great chimney is like a buttress and develops from the rocky outcrop as it grows out of the forest rock. The plan twists to follow the contours of the site. This is the fascination of the building with changing levels and interesting movement of space. Originally the cottage has a thatched roof which enabled the designer to use the fluid lines evolved from the plan.

Gimson had too much respect for the past to to attempt to reproduce it. He believed each generation could and should make a contribution to a splendid tradition

A plan of the ground floor of Stoneywell.  The plan relates to the photograph and sorry the words are upside down.

Why not write an article for the e-newsletter and the web site?  Contact Janet Groome on 0116 279 2280 with any questions.

Films about NADFAS

LeicesterDFAS Young Arts film about their work

There are now several films about NADFAS in YouTube  Click here to views these short and informative films about different aspects of the organisation.

LeicesterDFAS podcast on our Young Arts group!

To see film please click on the film icon here............................

(it may take a few minutes to download if you have a slow connection

Click here for another way to see the film about the group - there are two other podcasts, well worth looking at

Web site designed and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training