Art Articles

Rana Begum on Sir Joshua Reynolds | The Box Plymouth
Press Release - Aug 2023

Rana Begum on Sir Joshua Reynolds

As well as over 30 spectacular works by Sir Joshua Reynolds, our major 'Reframing Reynolds: A Celebration' exhibition features three brand new works by artist Rana Begum. The paintings came about after Begum undertook a research visit to The Box. Each one responds to a different Reynolds portrait, although not in a literal sense. These new works explore the effect of one colour against another, the impact of light and how Reynolds created depth, movement and drama. Listen to these video clips, taken from a recording session in Begum's studio, to discover what inspired her.

'Cookworthy, Body Sherds and Plymouth Rock' by Paul Scott | The Box Plymouth
Art - Jul 2023

'Cookworthy, Body Sherds and Plymouth Rock' by Paul Scott

Have you spotted this brilliant example of contemporary craft which is on show in the giant display case in our 'People and Place: Art Collection Showcase' exhibition? It’s part of a 2014 commission by internationally renowned ceramic artist, Paul Scott which was supported by the Contemporary Art Fund.

'Dartmoor China Clay' by Jean Jones | The Box Plymouth
Art - Jul 2023

'Dartmoor China Clay' by Jean Jones

This vibrant painting of a Devon scene is a recent addition to the permanent art collection at The Box and can be seen on display throughout 2023 in our 'People and Place: Art Collection Showcase' exhibition.

The Box joins national 20/20 project aimed at investing in diverse artists | The Box Plymouth
Press Release - Jun 2023

The Box joins national 20/20 project aimed at investing in diverse artists

The Box has joined a national commissioning and network programme that is directly investing in the careers of a new generation of ethnically minoritised and diverse artists.

'Dig for Victory' dress | The Box Plymouth
Press Release - May 2023

'Dig for Victory' dress

The dress was gifted to our collections in 1996 and dates from 1939-1945. It’s an example of mid-20th century fashion as well as a piece of propaganda, and you can see it in a huge case featuring hundreds of objects from our decorative art collection in our ‘People and Place’ exhibition.

‘Card Table’ by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham | The Box Plymouth
Art - May 2023

‘Card Table’ by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (1912-2004) was one of the most significant British female artists of the twentieth century. She was born in St Andrews, Scotland but after relocating to St Ives she became one of the central figures there. This work is an oil on hardboard dating from the late 1960s and was gifted to our collections in 1976 by the Contemporary Art Society.

Reynolds 300: Portrait of Samuel Reynolds | The Box Plymouth
Art - May 2023

Reynolds 300: Portrait of Samuel Reynolds

The Reverend Samuel Reynolds (1681-1745), was the School Master of Plympton St Maurice Grammar School. Most importantly, he's a father who played a pivotal role in his child’s life and future career.

Reynolds 300: Portrait of Elizabeth Limeburner | The Box Plymouth
Art - May 2023

Reynolds 300: Portrait of Elizabeth Limeburner

Like the enigmatic smile on this young woman’s face, there is more to this portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds than meets the eye.

Reynolds 300: Portrait of Lady Ann Bonfoy | The Box Plymouth
Art - May 2023

Reynolds 300: Portrait of Lady Ann Bonfoy

This gorgeous portrait dating from the 1750s and depicting a woman in a green and pink dress is part of our ‘Port Eliot Collection’. The woman is Lady Ann Bonfoy (nee Eliot) - the eldest daughter of Richard Eliot (1694-1748) and his wife Harriot (sometimes written as Harriet) (1713-1769).

Reynolds 300: Italian Sketchbook | The Box Plymouth
Art - May 2023

Reynolds 300: Italian Sketchbook

In 2014, Plymouth secured £326,300 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and a range of other funding partners to acquire two important items connected to artist, Sir Joshua Reynolds. One was an early self-portrait from the mid-1740s. The other was a fantastic sketchbook compiled on his ‘Grand Tour’ to Italy from 1750 to 1752.

Reynolds 300: Portrait of Charles Rogers | The Box Plymouth
Art - May 2023

Reynolds 300: Portrait of Charles Rogers

The Box's historically important Cottonian Collection contains thousands of fine and rare prints, drawings, paintings, watercolours, books, sculpture and furniture, and represents the changing tastes and interests of five generations of men over a period of more than 250 years. The man in this portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) is the second of the five.

Reynolds 300: Early Self-Portrait | The Box Plymouth
Art - May 2023

Reynolds 300: Early Self-Portrait

Sir Joshua Reynolds didn’t just paint portraits of the rich and famous, he also created portraits of himself! In 2014, The Box was delighted to acquire two important works by him – one of which was this early self-portrait from 1746.