Court on Canvas: Tennis in Art
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Anyone for tennis?
The first exhibition to explore lawn tennis as a subject in art is to be held at Birmingham’s Barber Institute of Fine Arts this summer. The University of Birmingham-based gallery is less than half a mile from the birthplace of the modern game – the garden ofa villa in suburban Edgbaston, where the sport was first played.
Court on Canvas: Tennis in Art features a wide variety of delightful paintings, drawings, photographs, prints andmixed-media works dating from the 1870s through to the 21st century, by artistsas diverse as Lavery, Spencer Gore, LS Lowry, Stanley Spencer, Eric Ravilious, Winnie the Pooh illustrator EH Shepard, David Hockney and Tom Phillips. It will even feature the iconic 1970s Athena Tennis Girl poster, itself photographed on a tennis court at the University of Birmingham.
The show is being accompanied by a second exhibition, A Gem of a Game: The Roots of Lawn Tennis in the West Midlands, which will explore the early history of lawn tennis and its local connections. It features artefacts such as early tennis rackets and equipment, women’s tennis outfits through the ages, the original copy of the rules, as written down by Major Gem,and other fascinating memorabilia.
As ever, the exhibition will be accompanied by a variety of interesting associated events for all ages, including lectures, gallery talks and a study day. Fore more information, visit the Barber website: www.barber.org.uk