Grosvenor Museum pays tribute to the work of Robin Ironside: Neo-Romantic Visionary

By Ruth Hazard | 14 September 2012
Exhibition Preview: Robin Ironside: Neo-Romantic Visionary, Grosvenor Museum, Chester, 15 September – 6 January 2013

The Robin Ironside retrospective at Grosvenor Museum casts the artist as a melancholic character. By his own admission he was preoccupied with “the hopes and frustrations of living” and his contemporaries described him as elegant and learned, eccentric and obsessive: a man as extraordinary as his art.

A painter, illustrator, designer, writer and curator, Ironside was completely self-taught. He drew inspiration from a surprising range of sources; architecture and art, poetry and music, as well as his use of hallucinogenic drugs.

During his career, Ironside worked as Assistant Keeper at the Tate Gallery and Assistant Secretary of the Contemporary Art Society. He was credited with applying the term Neo-Romanticism to British Art and his many publications include a pioneering study of the Pre-Raphaelites.

After giving up paid employment, he lived a precarious freelance life as an artist, illustrating books and producing a range of designs, usually with his brother Christopher.

His notable works include graphics for the Festival of Britain, Edinburgh Festival and for the opera and ballet at Covent Garden.

Featuring nearly seventy exhibits, the Grosvenor Museum presents paintings spanning his entire career, together with representative selections of his theatre designs, book illustrations, and artistic work from other publications.
  • Open: Monday – Saturday 10.30am-5pm (Sunday 1-4pm). Admission free. 

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