Masterful lines are on display at the Brynmor Jones Library

Published: Thursday 5th January 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Many people don’t realise that the Brynmor Jones Library at The University of Hull houses an art gallery and an exhibition space, which are open to the public. However, this year the campus is expecting a significant increase in visitors thanks to Lines of Thought, a British Museum touring exhibition.

The library is located at the centre of the Cottingham Road campus and has two entrances, so it’s very easy to access. With clear signage, a vibrant cafe and friendly staff, it welcomes students and non-students alike throughout the year.

Lines of Thought is a wonderful collection of drawings from dozens of artists, ranging from Dürer to Degas, Michelangelo to Matisse, and Rembrandt to Riley. Covering 500 years of subject matter, styles and techniques, the contrast of muses and methodologies is quite extraordinary.

Whilst some of the artworks acts as studies for larger paintings, others are masterpieces in their own right. What remains consistent is the dexterity, passion and individualism infused into each piece, telling many fascinating tales from around the world.

Amongst the collection you’ll discover the impulsive and incomplete mixed with the meticulously planned and refined. Cézanne’s Study of a Plaster Cupid is part of his 30-year project that analysed one sculpture from multiple perspectives. Meanwhile, James Gillray’s His Royal Highness demonstrates how a pen nib can be used to create a portrait through curves, dots and dashes.

There are names that you have most likely come across, such as studies by Henry Moore that present his famously smooth curves. Meanwhile, there are some that may be new to you, like the geometric, system-based drawings of Mary Martin.

What’s especially interesting is the way in which sketches are used in different way. Whilst it was Da Vinci’s preferred form of expression, others used it simply as a preparatory exercise. Then of course there’s Rembrandt’s An Asian Elephant, which acts as the publicity image for the exhibition. Dating from around 1637, this black chalk and charcoal production celebrates the creature’s bold, baggy and benign character, as well as the power of line drawings.

The exhibition truly is a must-see, as it brings together works from the British Museum’s prestigious graphic collection. Hull is one of just three touring destinations, so you can enjoy this exclusive opportunity right here on your doorstep.

Whilst there, make sure to also visit the adjoining art gallery, which houses the university’s outstanding collection of British art between 1890 and 1940. The gallery is free to visit, with donations welcome and a Friends scheme available for just £10 per year, or £150 for lifetime membership.

Lines of Thought runs at the Brynmor Jones Library until 28 February and is open 10am-7pm Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm Saturday and 11am-4pm Sunday. Entry is free and you can simply turn up, although it is advised that you book tickets in advance to guarantee entry. Please note that there are some exceptions to these opening hours, which can be found at the link above.

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Published: Thursday 5th January 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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