I have indicated throughout the text the many subjects that are yet to be fully researched and have in mind a research trip to Birmingham in the new year. This would be to the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists where there are records of Creswick’s associate memership, membership and time as professor of sculture, a position which was given to members, not elected as officers, such as treasurer or secretary but whose work in their sphere gave them a special position within the Society. There is also more information in the minute books about the exhibitions which may shed light on some of the exhibits and the sorts of prices that were paid for Creswic’s works and how many sold etc. I did make a discovery on my last visit there, that John Creswick one of Benjamins sons had exhibited with the RBSA and will shortly give the details and hopefully get permission to add the images I took,
There is also another archive I hope to revisit at the School of Art which will give further insight into the years when Creswick was teaching there. I do have some material which needs to be written up it concerns a rather dramatic period when the examiner gave a very bad report on Creswick’s students work. and Creswick went so far as to request permssion to write in defence of them and his teaching, it is indicative of his loyalty and his ideas of fairness it also an interesting link with Ruskin’s writings on the necessity of accepting the vision of a craftsman who gives an insight to the beholder and not expect always to have a polished piece of work and be pleased with it even if it has no soul. This is almost in the way an artists sketch book can often show a liveliness and life that can be lost in the finished work. It is one of the examples of the tensions between Creswick and his Ruskin ideals and the Municipal School of Art but it is a very complex subject and they were not as opposed as might be expected. Ruskin’s Inaugural Address to the Cambridge School of Art of 1858 is so informative in understanding his ideas on this subject and so much of an insight to Creswick’s ideas in teaching that it is invaluable. This is one area I would like to cover in depth.
I do hope that those of you who are interested will contribute and expand any of the subjects that you feel need to be explored further, as whole research project is work in progress and open to interaction.
The other project in Birmingham is to visit the Birmingham Museum and Gallery with a view to dicovering a work that may be in their collection or seeing if it is possible for them to have some sort of acknowledgement of Creswick’s work. I have had some recent correspondence with