Museum honours Charles Eastlake with musical walk
Plymouth City Museum and Art Centre held a special musical walk through the centre of town in honour of Charles Eastlake, including traditional folk music, sea shanties, a sing-a-long on the steps of the Guild Hall and even a visit from Napoleon Bonaparte.
The event was held in connection with the current exhibition about Charles Eastlake called 'In Pursuit of Art: Charles Eastlake's Journey from Plymouth to the National Gallery'.
During the walk, that started with a tour of the museum, local band 'Tobacco Road' played at the museum and at the final stop of the walk, Smeaton's Tower. People taking part on the walk also met a young Charles Eastlake, and a captured but still pompous Napoleon Bonaparte, whom Eastlake painted while he was on board the Bellerophon in Plymouth Sound.
One of the people taking part was Pat Newman.
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"It was a great event, with loads of variety for the kids and us adults alike," she said.
The family-friendly event was arranged by the museum's Young Explainers group, which consists of volunteers from Plymouth University.
"It has been great to see the reactions of the kids today. They have really enjoyed themselves. On a professional level, being involved in a project like this has given me hands on experience with museum work. I am studying arts and fine arts at university, so it really helps to use the things we learn in a practical setting," young explainer Rosy King said.
Charles Eastlake was born in 1793 and educated at Plympton Grammar School. He trained and worked as an artist for a number of years, but it was his career as an arts administrator that really made his name.
He became President of the Royal Academy, London's famous arts institution in 1850. He was then appointed as Director of the National Gallery and served in that position from 1855 to 1865.
Rosy King said she hoped the event and exhibition would help generate more awareness about the life and deeds of Eastlake.
"For example, he was the first to allow women to study at the Royal Academy. It is a decision he might have made together with his wife, who was a very strong and independent woman that we in the young volunteers have great respect for, but not many people know this," she said.