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’

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