Cherished watercolour collection commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert comes to Poole

Posted on Thursday 25 July 2019

A major exhibition marking the bicentenary of the births of both Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, opens on Saturday 26 October at Poole Museum.

Victoria & Albert: Our Lives in Watercolour showcases nearly 70 works loaned by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection. The exhibition explores the private and public lives of the couple throughout their marriage. Both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were avid patrons and practitioners of watercolour painting. According to Victoria’s journal, the couple spent many an evening organising much of their collection into albums. A series of nine watercolour albums created by the couple appears to have been particularly important to Victoria, as when Prince Albert died she stopped collating them, rendering them an even rarer treasure.

The exhibition will be shown at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle from 29 June until 14 September, before touring to Poole at the end of October. After display at Poole Museum, the collection of works will then move to Wolverhampton Art Gallery in March 2020. Poole Museum will be the only venue to host this exhibition in the south of the UK.

Visitors will have the opportunity to view many watercolours depicting the pomp and spectacle of royalty, travel abroad as well as scenes from the private life of the couple. In addition, works by Queen Victoria herself will be on display, showcasing her talent and passion using watercolours.

Cllr Mark Howell, BCP Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Culture, said:

“We are looking forward to hosting a wonderful collection of works from the Royal Collection. I would encourage all local residents and visitors to see this fantastic exhibition which traces Victoria and Albert’s lives together through the eyes of some outstanding watercolourists.”

Carly Collier, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust, said:

“The colourful, dynamic watercolours collected by Victoria and Albert illuminate aspects of both Victoria's reign and the royal couple's passions. They capture the pomp and spectacle of the British court, foreign travel and diplomacy, the exploration and shaping of a modern nation, and the close-knit family at the heart of it all.”

Poole Museum will host a series of events and activities throughout the exhibition, suitable for all ages including a children’s Make and Take craft activity and a talk from the curator of the exhibition, Carly Collier, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust. Programming also includes a Dementia-friendly exhibition tour.

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Victoria & Albert: Our Lives in Watercolour will run from 26 October 2019 until 5 January 2020. Entry is free, although donations are welcomed.