To commemorate the birth date of Bushey-based artist Sir Hubert von Herkomer - and in honour of former resident John who much admired his workings – Tremona Care Home in Watford has recreated a number of his best known portraits as part of what has fast become a global trend – the 'art history challenge'.
From ‘Gwenddydd and Her Dog in a Garden’ to 'Portrait of Margaret Herkomer’, the home looked to everyday items for staff and residents to reimagine his work, some of which currently resides in the Bushey Museum and Art Gallery’s nationally-significant collection relating to Herkomer.
“Herkomer died penniless – like most artists – and I wanted to work together with John to bring more recognition to his work,” said Tremona Care Home Engagement Lead, Margaret Daniels.
She continued: “Unfortunately, John passed away before we could achieve this, therefore, I thought by recreating these paintings, it would serve honour to both John and Herkomer, as well as the artist’s birth date today [26th May].”
During his extensive career in both the civil service and the education sector, John had an intrinsic interest in the creative arts, one that saw him graduate university with a degree in music, oversee the Ealing Opera Group for 25 years, and write twenty-seven books, one of which titled, ‘Barnet at War’.
But, as highlighted above, John’s admiration for Herkomer was most prolific, especially during his time at Tremona Care Home where he spent hours celebrating the artist’s pioneering career and realist approach to ‘genre art’.
About The Art History Challenge
Borne out of a challenge that saw staff recreate some of the museum’s most prolific workings, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California challenged its social media followers to “recreate a work of art with objects (and people)” from the comfort of their homes – and has since received a global response.
Coined the ‘Art History Challenge’, many other institutions have encouraged followers to reimagine their favourite works of art using everyday items – think clothes, kitchen utensils and even pets – to share across social platforms that “conjure a masterpiece of history” and stimulate learning around notable workings.