Picture of the Month – The Destruction of Phipps Brewery

The Destruction of Phipps Brewery by Peter Newcombe (1943- ), oil on board, c.1975

This painting was chosen as ‘Painting of the Month’ due to its subject matter- Phipps brewery. The old brewery was closely associated with the shoe trade in Northampton. 

Pickering Phipps started brewing in 1801 in Towcester but by1900 all production had moved to Northampton following a fire that destroyed the original brewery. The factory was demolished in 1973 after the company was taken over by Watney Mann (Midlands) Ltd in 1968.

The Destruction of Phipps Brewery

The Destruction of Phipps Brewery

Jeffery-West has collaborated with Phipps NBC Brewery to produce a limited edition ale to promote their exhibition ‘If We Could Be Heroes’. This exhibition can be seen in Gallery 1, on the ground floor, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, along with more information about the brewery and ‘Shoemaker’s Monday’.

Picture of the Month – Louise Colet

Louise Colet by James Tissot (1836-1902), Oil on canvas, 1861

Chosen by Gill Lindsay, Chairman, Friends of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.

This languid portrait known as ‘The Lady in Black’ for some years was given to the museum by the Friends of Northampton Art Gallery in 1995. It has previously belonged to the composer and professor of composition William Alwyn.

Louise Colet

Louise Colet

The portrait is now thought to be the French poet Louise Colet, who was the centre of the French literary scene in the early 19th century.


Picture of the Month – Still Life With Pumpkin

Still Life with Pumpkin byJohn Gilbert Donley (1886-1959), oil on canvas, dated 1946.

John Donley was a founder member of Northampton Town and County Art Society. He was a self-taught artist who exhibited at the Royal Academy, with a number of his paintings in the collection at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.  He was a keen market gardener and often painted at his allotment in Dallington Grange. His enthusiasm and love for growing vegetables is expressed in this painting as a sense of pride in his work is shown through each brush stroke.

Still Life With Pumpkin

Still Life With Pumpkin

Painting chosen by Rebecca Shawcross, Shoe Resources Officer, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. 

“I have chosen this painting from the collection as its autumn subject of harvest and plenty seemed appropriate for the month of September. It also reminds me of a recent trip to Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire where large pumpkins were growing in their kitchen garden.”

Picture of the Month – Mrs Harold Harley

The painting Mrs Harold Harley by George Herbert Buckingham Holland (1901-1987), oil on canvas, painted in 1962, was donated to the museum.

Mrs Harold Harley

Mrs Harold Harley

George Herbert Buckingham Holland, was born in Northampton. He was educated at Northampton Grammar School and trained as an artist at Northampton School of Art and Leicester College of Art (1918-23). In 1923 he opened a studio at Whitworth Chambers, George Row, Northampton.    

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery have many examples of his work and three of his paintings are in the collection of the National Gallery.

This  painting was chosen by Phyllis Sims, volunteer.  Phyllis chose this painting as Painting of the Month as she thought the colours were very cheery and the style was very modern.

Picture of the Month – White and Near Black

White and Near Black

White and Near Black

The painting White and Near Black by Trevor Bell (1930-1961), oil on canvas, was donated to the museum in 1964.

Trevor Bell is one of the most highly regarded British abstract painters of the last 50 years, and one of a select band of living artists who have had a full retrospective show at the Tate Gallery, St Ives.

Bell studied at the Leeds College of Art from 1947-52; he worked in St, Ives from 1955 and was a member of the Penwith Society of Artists. He has exhibited all over the world and currently lives and works in Cornwall.

Artist statement: ‘I think about things that excite me: convoluted strata, the eroded and broken edges of cliffs, the constant interaction of the elements, the movement of boats on water…I think its about the object and its inner image; the activity of each and the play between the two…’

At present all the Picture of the Month selections are only online and not on public display at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.


Picture of the Month – The Wild Garden

The Wild Garden

The Wild Garden

The Wild Garden, Cliftonville, Northamptonshire, circa 1950, is by the artist Anthony Ashworth Jackson-Stops (1914-1985) and is in the medium of oil on canvas and was purchased by the museum in 1950.

The image is of an overgrown garden but full of new flowers and abundant growth of leaves and grasses. This painting was chosen as Picture of the Month by Paul because of the feeling of Spring and the return of life, sunlight and the renewed growth of nature.

Picture of the Month – Sketch for the Crucifixion

Sketch for the Crucifixion by Graham Sutherland

Sketch for the Crucifixion by Graham Sutherland

The Sketch for the Crucifixion by Graham Sutherland (1903-1980) is in the medium of oil on board, dated 1946.

This work by Graham Sutherland was produced as a preliminary sketch for the large-scale crucifixion that can be seen in St Matthew’s Church, Northampton. This work directly led to Sutherland’s tapestry in Coventry Cathedral. 

Chosen by Michael Loe of the Friends of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery because:

“I started college in Coventry in 1962, the year the new cathedral was consecrated.  The whole of the cathedral was controversial, particularly Sutherland’s high-altar back-cloth.  I was bowled over: I, a scientist, had discovered art! So finding a Sutherland sketch in the picture-store made my choice easy.


Picture of the Month – Girl with Strawberries

Girl with Strawberries

Girl with Strawberries

The Girl with Strawberries is attributed to the artist Charles Baxter (1809-1879) and is in the medium of oil on panel and was donated to the museum in 1940. 

The image of the innocent child as shown in this picture were very popular in Victorian art.

This painting was chosen as Picture of the Month by Wendy because she likes portraits of children that refelct the social history of the time.

Picture of the Month – Daniel Lambert

Daniel Lambert

Daniel Lambert

This portrait of Daniel Lambert, in the British (English) School style, circa 18th century, is in the medium of oil on paper and was donated to the museum in 1992.

Daniel Lambert (1770-1809) was the gaol keeper, sportsman and animal breeder from Leicester, famous for his unusually large size.

The painting was chosen as Picture of the Month by Aileen because it represents the warm, jolly and over indulgent time of Christmas.