The Jewish Chronicle
Ben Uri loans key work for display in care home
THE NIGHTINGALE care home in Clapham is displaying a major work from the Ben Uri collection in the gallery’s first long-term loan to a non-museum location.
Showcased in the Nightingale reception area, The Field, The Artist’s Daughter on a Pony (1906) is by Solomon J Solomon, whose family have long connections to the home.
The artist’s daughter Mary (depicted in the painting) was a Nightingale resident in later life until her death at 97.
Her own daughter, Anne, also lived at Nightingale and Anne’s son, Patrick Bower, has for many years, been a Nightingale GP.
The loan of the painting reflects a move by the Ben Uri to give the public access to works it does not have the space to display.
Nightingale and the gallery have also engaged in a collaborative project researching the impact of art on the lives of those with dementia.
Nightingale Hammerson chief executive Helen Simmons said: “It is a privilege to host such a wonderful painting and we are pleased that it can be on display for all to see. We expect that many residents, families and guests will gain much enjoyment from it.”
Dr Bower said the family were “delighted that this magnificent picture is now on permanent display. It is particularly appropriate that it should be at Nightingale, where the little girl on the pony spent her last years.”
For Nightingale resident and keen artist Eve, 96, it was an opportunity to study a work from a prestigious painter.
“If I look carefully at it I can learn from how he used colours on the painting.”
Eve took up painting in her 70s and enjoys silk painting and pottery sessions at the home.
In the year he painted The Field, Solomon J Solomon became only the second Jewish member of the Royal Academy. His contributions to the academy’s summer exhibition were hung in what became known as “Solomon’s corner”.
During the First World War, he pioneered military camouflage, sculpting dummy heads to attract fire to locate enemy snipers.
He was the Ben Uri president from 1924-26 and he continued painting portraits (including members of the Royal Family) until his death in 1927. His handbook, The Practice of Oil Painting and Drawing (1911) remains in print. The painting in its new home and Nightingale resident and keen artist Eve, who looks forward to learning from it
It is a privilege to host such a wonderful painting for all to see’