Setting the Scene

The historic and modern art of wood engraving

24 February 2022, 7 pm

Anne Desmet introduces “Scene through Wood: A Century of Modern Wood Engraving”, an Ashmolean Museum exhibition she curated to celebrate the centenary of the Society of Wood Engravers. Wood engraving is a historic printing technique with origins in England: developed by Newcastle naturalist Thomas Bewick (1753-1828). Wood engravings are notable for their fine detail and astounding tonal range. “Scene through Wood” offers a visual feast of these prints and celebrates the artists who made them, including Thomas Bewick, William Blake, Samuel Palmer, Lucien Pissarro, Naum Gabo, Eric Ravilious, M C Escher, Gertrude Hermes, Clare Leighton, Paul and John Nash, Henry Moore, David Gentleman, Peter Blake, Hilary Paynter and Anne Desmet.

Anne Desmet RA RE SWE was editor of Printmaking Today from 1998-2013. She is the author of seven books on printmaking and drawing. As an artist, she has had 50 solo exhibitions (including four museum retrospectives in the UK and Moscow); won over 40 national and international awards; has worked in museum collections worldwide; and commissioned works to include engravings for the British Museum, National Gallery, British Library, V&A, the Royal Mint and Sotheby’s. Desmet was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 2011 and is only the third wood engraver ever elected to the RA. In 2018, she was elected an Honorary Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford, for “distinction in the world of art”.

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The Arts Society

The Arts Society is a national organisation in the United Kingdom promoting education in the arts and the preservation of artistic heritage.

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Special Exhibitions

9 February to 1 May 2022

Scene through Wood

A Century of Modern Wood Engraving An exhibition organised by the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford 9 February to 1 May 2022 Scene Through Wood…

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28 April 2022

Reynolds Stone: Life and Work

A lecture by his son Humphrey Stone 28 April 2022, 7 pm To coincide with the exhibition Scene through Wood: A century of Modern Wood…

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23 April 2022

Playful spring printing for adults workshop

23 April 2022, 10 am to 12.30 pm Join artist Helen Garrett for a fun morning of experimental printing from clay using natural forms as…

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26 March 2022

Introduction to wood engraving

26 March 2022, 10am to 4pm This one-day workshop is perfect for beginners looking to learn a new technique. You will be taught the principles…

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24 February 2022

Setting the Scene

The historic and modern art of wood engraving 24 February 2022, 7 pm Anne Desmet introduces “Scene through Wood: A Century of Modern Wood Engraving”,…

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2 December 2021 – 6 March 2022

My Creative Life: Talking Heads

2 December 2021 – 6 March 2022 The heads on display are the expression of a creative process facilitated by Janna Edwards and the Dorset…

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22 September 2022

Tom Sharpe – Mary Anning, the fossil woman

22 September 2022 Join Tom Sharpe, formerly Curator of Palaeontology and Archives at the National Museum of Wales, and author of ‘The Fossil Woman:…

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19 May 2022

Staging the world of Stonehenge

19 May 2022, 7 pm Shrouded in layers of speculation and folklore, Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most awe-inspiring ancient stone circle, and its image…

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22 January – 27 March 2022

Quiet Revolutions

Work inspired by Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland 22 January – 27 March 2022 Quiet Revolutions, a display of ceramic pieces inspired by…

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We’re Good To Go

We have gained the Visit England ‘We’re Good To Go’ kitemark confirming we’re following national COVID 19 guidelines for managing visits to our site.

✔ Face masks must still be worn to keep you, our staff and our volunteers safe unless you are exempt!

✔ You must still check-in via the Track and Trace app.

✔ Sanitisation stations will still be in place and we encourage you to use them.

✔ Social distancing will remain.

✔ Regular cleaning of our interactive exhibits will still take place.

This guidance will stay in place until further notice.