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THE PRIVATE VIEW. Availing ourselves of the coartesy of the hon. secretary, we paid a visit to the gallery this afternoon, and were much pleased with the display of works of art which the Council have this year got together. In many respects the collection is creditable alike to the contributors and the Selection Committee. It appeared to us that there has been much all-round improvement, many exhibits showing this advance in a distinct manner. In the absence of a catalogue, which, we understood, was then in course of compilation, we are unable to do more in this notice than generally refer to the exhibits, reserving for a future occasion, after the opening of the exhibition, which, we observe, is_ to take place on Friday evening, our description and critical observations on the works of the individual members. We were, however, able to get a general idea of the pictures, and now indicate what the visitor to tbe gallery may look forward to seeing. In the first place, we notice our young townswoman, Miss Grace Joel, is a large exhibitor, in more senses than one. Her principal work is displayed upon the biggest canvas yet shown on the wall 3. It occupies tbe central position among the oil paintings, and shows an interior with figures. We should say, from looking at the picture, that it represents a scene of pathos and sadness. An eUerly woman is seated at a table; at her feet kneels another, apparently in the act of consoling her in some recent heavy bereavement. The grouping of tbe figures and the general accessories of the work indicate considerable thought and the exercise of no little skill on the artist's part. A stu 'y of the " nude " and several "heads" form the total o*. Miss Joel's contributions. Amongthe prominent paintings of this year is one which may be advantageously studied for tho careful delineation of natural effect and fine drawing. It is a work by the veteran artist of Christonurch, Mr John Gibb, and represents the swirl of the sea in among a number of kelpcovered rooks. We understand that the scene is somewhere on the Now Zealand coast, in the vicinity of the Kaikouras—a bold, rocky shore line trending away in the distance, full of breezy atmosphere, and altogether a work of excellence. Another large canvas which arrests attention Is a picture by Mr K. Hawcrldge. It is somewhat fantastic, but withal very original in its treatment. It seems to convey the idea of the sun rising through mist at sea, as viowed from what appears to be sandhills, which are shown in deep shadow. A large specimen of the sand-dune growth occupies the foreground, and altogether the picture is one which will probably invite not only much attention but possibly considerable controversy. Mr Charles Howorth, of Invercargill, has, as usual, quite a number of works on view. Many of them are representatives of the new tourist ground, Stewart Island, and are all executed with that freedom of touch for which he has long been so favorably known. Mr Nairn, of Wellington, has sent several fine examples of his skill. One, the largest, depicts a farmer coming through a bush clearing at the close of his day's work. The picture appeared to us to be somewhat dull in tone, but probab'y it will light up on further acquaintance. All the works of this artist bear evidence of considerable arfcistio capability.' Another Wellington contributor Is Miss Hill, who has this year eent several bright aud oxcellently painted water colors. Miss Kichardson, too, is a'so well represented by several pictures, of whioh the best is probably the girl's head on the west wall. Mr Peyton, tho Auckland artist, has sent several oil paintings of considerable merit, all of them representing scenes in the vioinity of Auckland. Among our local artists, Mias Fitchett contributes several portraits in pastel, the fidelity of which will be at once recognised. This young lady should, we think, for her own reputation's sake, essay something in a less ephemeral medium than that in which bcr present productions are executed, and we Bhall look forward to seeing her at a more permanent class of work next year. Some delicate Work by aMr Branfill is also on the wall, and will repay inspection. Mrs Woodhouse, Mrs Joachim, Miss AVimperis, and' Miss Hodgkins are each represented by water colors which do them much credit. Miss Ilo'gluns's clever study of a girl at a cottage door is very satisfactory, as are also her other works, all of which are small but good. Mr Harrison has a well and correctly drawn ship at sea. Mr L. W. Wilson contributes some half a dozen landscapes in oil and water color, the most important of which is a view in MUford Sound, showing, as the title tells us, the entrance to tho Arthur River. The giant hills are thinly veiled in mist, and the subjesr, which has been already treated by numbers of cur artists with more- or less skill, ia in thU picture presented under a somewhat different aspect. The president is represented by only or.o landscape and a couple of small drawings. The former depicts a bend of a river at the close of day, and is treated with his usual care. Tho latter are scenes in the West Coast Sounds. 1 he loan collection is one whioh should prove of the greatest interest to visitors to the gallery. All the workß have been lent by their owners with the object of making the Exhibition attractive and useful to the artists. There are examples by Colin Hunter, A.R.A., H. Bud, A.RSA, F. Brangwvn, the late Denovan Adam, R.S.A.—whose fine landscape with Highland cattle will be of much interest—Pengil, R,8..*„ s?am Bough, R.S.A., Garstin Branley, Toati-Bellei, Qouldsmith, and others. Not tho least Interesting of the exhibits this year la a collection of some fifty original sketches from nature by tho late Mr Cousins, a member of tho society, whose death, it will be remembered, took plaoe some few months ago. They all Indicate his skill alike with pencil and brush, and should of great advantage to those of tho membera of the society who wl-di the opportunity of studying the manner of a man who was evidently facile princcps in his particular line. We are especially glad to observe on the walls this year an exhibit which should make for the greatest good among our local students. We refer to the collection of works in decorative design by the students of the Wellington and Christchuroh Schools of Art. We intend in a future notice to refer to this particular exhibit at snrne length, and to deal with the question which it invites for consideration by our local educational authorities. Jleautia;: we content with saj ing that it is one of the best and at the eamo time most useful things of the kind we have seen, and we think the society are entitled to the thank* of the publio for bringing these works under their notice. Examples of designs suitable for tilework, linoleums, wall paper, book illustrations, and other branches of practical use are shown in these works, and all of them the product of New Zealand students, taught, fostered, and encouraged by competent teachers. We shall have more to say after the Exhibition is opened.

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Bibliographic details

THE OTAGO ART SOCIETY'S EXHIBITION., Evening Star, Issue 10462, 4 November 1897

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THE OTAGO ART SOCIETY'S EXHIBITION. Evening Star, Issue 10462, 4 November 1897