Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Oxford Oratorians making exhibitions of themselves

In August there will be two weekend exhibitions at the Oxford Oratory - so if you have a chance to visit the city then they are worth putting in your diary.

The aim is to display some of the curious and rare items in the Oratory collection, as well as the plans for how they should be housed as part of the 'Reaffirmation and Renewal' appeal.

Over the Assumptiontide weekend of August 14th and 15th - that is just after August 11th, Newman's anniversary - the theme will be, predictably, Newman himself. It will be a rare opportunity to see the Venables portrait:

and the Westmacott bust, as well as the more familiar Richmond etching, other portraits of Newman, the manuscript of "Lead Kindly Light", a signed book and picture, and early editions of many of his books and pamphlets including Tract XC. Also on display will be the engravings which have been used in the new edition of "Newman's Oxford".

At the Bank Holiday weekend, 28th-30th August, the display will concentrate on church vestments. Some of the beautifully embroidered vestments used in the Oratory church will be displayed, together with explanations of their origin and meaning.

There will also be a display of brass rubbings showing mediaeval vestments from brasses in Britain and the Continent. It is not generally known that the Oxford Oratory houses what is probably one of the five largest collections of brass rubbings in the world, which will also be housed in the new library and accessible to researchers.

1 comment:

amsjJ said...

Thank you very much. I've been trying for a long while to discover who painted that particular Newman portrait. Today I was reading the “Letters and Diaries”, when I saw this entry:
Monday 18 May 1868 Mr Venables came to paint me for Lord Denbigh
(LD, XXIV, 75).

The only thing I wish is that it would be shown in September, when there is a pilgrimage group coming (hopefully with me in it!). But at least my mystery has been solved -- thanks so much!

Certainly the exhibition is a wonderful assortment of Newman riches; how fortunate you all are to be so close to the dear Father’s environment.