Explore the life and legacy of the 17th-century sculptor and wood carver Grinling Gibbons, dubbed the ‘Michelangelo of Wood.’
Grinling Gibbons was known for his intricate and realist wooden carvings, working on iconic locations including Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral. His creations were so real they had the quality of an illusion – for example, the limewood cravat he created for Horace Walpole in 1690 was so convincing the politician was able to trick guests at his Strawberry Hill House home into thinking it was the real thing – quite the party trick!
The exhibition explores the incredible influence he had on style and culture, going on to inspire all kinds of artists and designers including ceramicist Phoebe Cummings and fashion designer Alexander McQueen. His bold new direction of crafting changed the landscape of British carving, sculpture and interiors and the exhibition will demonstrate this through a vast collection of wood and stone carvings, drawings and sketches, portraits and still life paintings.
Part of a year-long series of events to commemorate the tercentenary of Grinling Gibbons, the exhibition will also showcase the work of the 11 finalists of the Grinling Gibbons Tercentenary Award.
Grinling Gibbons: Centuries in the Making is supported by the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund.