All posts in “arts & crafts”

On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake! The Great Victorian Radicals Bake Off

It’s hard to say which came first: The opening of Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts & Crafts Movement or SAM staff binge-watching the Great British Bake Off. Either way, we can’t get enough Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Our staff is so into it that we are hosting the Great Victorian Radicals Bake Off. On August 29, 6–9 pm, everyone is invited to see the resulting confections of this public baking challenge, cast a vote for your favorite dessert, and find out who the judges select as winner!

24 local bakers have signed up to create signature desserts inspired by artworks of their choosing in Victorian Radicals.  At the event, bakers will present their work to the judges, explain their approach and inspiration. Judges will select one baker based on criteria of taste, relevance to artwork, and presentation. The winner will be awarded $500. Here are just some of the artworks selected as inspiration!

Our three judges may not be tossing out catchphrases but they are certainly bringing some serious skill to this lovely affair. Meet our three tastemakers below.

Rachael Coyle
Rachael is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and is the owner of Coyle’s Bakeshop. Previously, Rachael was Executive Pastry Chef at Le Pichet and Cafe Presse.

For me, baking is as much about texture as it is about flavor, so I’ll be looking for pieces that show balance and skill in both areas. I love seeing well-executed classics—but I especially love when a piece can play with something familiar just enough to make it new and interesting. Last, and very much not least, good technique is essential to good baking, so I’ll be checking that all the individual components (pastry doughs especially!) demonstrate good technical skill. But most of all: I can’t wait to see what the bakers create!

– Rachael Coyle

Chiyo Ishikawa
Chiyo is Seattle Art Museum’s Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art and Curator of European Painting and Sculpture and curator of Victorian Radicals.

Chiyo Ishikawa headshot

I am hoping that contestants will be inspired by some of the objects in the exhibition—there are great images using flowers, vivid colors, and lots of detail. I am particularly hoping someone might want to take on some of the three-dimensional decorative arts objects that pile on Romanesque, Byzantine, and Gothic styles and use jewels, enamel work, and sculpted forms. More is more!

– Chiyo Ishikawa

Sara Naftaly
Sara is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and is owner of Amandine Bakeshop. For 30 years prior, Sara was co-owner of Le Gourmand.

For me, presentation cakes are a little like beautiful people.  If there is no integrity on the inside, no depth of flavor,  no individual character, then the resulting impression is eminently forgettable.  

– Sara Naftaly

Although the audience can’t sample the desserts, we will have a bar and dessert options provided by TASTE during the event. Definite bonus, a limited number of free community passes will be made available for visitors to view Victorian Radicals which is open until 9 pm.

Images: Proserpine, 1881–82, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, British, 1828–1882, oil on canvas, 31 × 15 3/8 in., Lent by Birmingham Museums Trust on behalf of Birmingham City Council, Presented by the Trustees of the Public Picture Gallery Fund, 1927P7, © Birmingham Museums Trust, Courtesy American Federation of Arts. Peacock Vase, ca. 1885, William Frend De Morgan, British, 1839–1917, earthenware, painted in underglaze colors over white slip, 13 3/4 × 11 1/2 × 11 1/2 in., Lent by Birmingham Museums Trust on behalf of Birmingham City Council, Presented by Miss Bridget D’Oyly Carte, 1949M79, © Birmingham Museums Trust, Courtesy American Federation of Arts. Medea, 1866–68, Frederick Sandys, British, 1829–1904, oil on composite wood with gold leaf, 24 1/2 × 18 1/4 in., Lent by Birmingham Museums Trust on behalf of Birmingham City Council, Presented by the Trustees of the Public Picture Gallery Fund, 1925P105, © Birmingham Museums Trust, Courtesy American Federation of Arts. Tea set (water kettle on stand with integral paraffin burner, teapot, cream jug, sugar bowl, and tray), ca. 1895, William Arthur Smith Benson, British, 1854–1924, copper and brass, 11/16 × 15 3/8 × 9 3/16 in., Lent by Birmingham Museums Trust on behalf of Birmingham City Council, Purchased with grant aid from the V&A/MGC Purchase Grant Fund, 1991M34.1-6, © Birmingham Museums Trust, Courtesy American Federation of Arts. “Honeysuckle”, 1874 (design registered 1876), William Morris, British, 1834 – 1896, block-printed linen, 27 1/8 × 38 1/8in., Lent by Birmingham Museums Trust on behalf of Birmingham City Council, Presented by the Friends of Birmingham Museums Trust, 1941M402, © Birmingham Museums Trust, Courtesy American Federation of Arts. “Garden of the Hesperides” chest, 1887–88, Edward Burne-Jones, British, 1833–1898, wood with paint and gold leaf over gesso, 40 3/4 × 74 1/4 × 27 1/2 in., Lent by Birmingham Museums Trust on behalf of Birmingham City Council, Bequeathed by Helen Mary Gaskell, 1940, 2005.0121, © Birmingham Museums Trust, Courtesy American Federation of Arts. Photo: Courtesy Rachael Coyle. Photo: Scott Areman. Photo: Courtesy Sara Naftly.
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10 Facts About the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

From the intricate silver objects and the dazzling jewelry to the vibrant paintings on display, there is so much to see and learn about in Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts & Crafts Movement. For instance, did you know the 15th-century painter Van Eyck’s was an inspiration to the Pre-Raphaelites? Here are some facts that you may not know about the rebellious artists behind the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Read up and then come see this stunning exhibition on view through September 8!

  • The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood began in 1848 and was founded by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
  • The founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood were all students at the Royal Academy but they rebelled against the ideas and methods of The Academy and would often skip classes to have secret meetings at their homes.
  • The name “Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood” came from their belief that the “Golden Age of Art” came before Raphael and the Renaissance.
  • The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood eventually grew and received tremendous support from writer and critic John Ruskin.
  • When the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood formed, the members were all between the ages of 18–23 years old.
  • In 1850 the Pre-Raphaelites launched an illustrated journal called “The Germ” meant to “sow the seeds of a widespread reform of society through advanced art and design.” It included poetry, essays, and short stories as well as etchings. The journal discontinued after four issues.
  • Although the brotherhood by definition excluded women, influential female figures such as Elizabeth Siddall, Rosa Brett, and Anna Blunden made art within the wider circle of the Pre-Raphaelites.
  • John Millais’ muse, Effie Gray, was the wife of his mentor John Ruskin. While painting and modeling, Millais and Grey fell in love. Gray divorced Ruskin and married Millais a year later!
  • Pre-Raphaelite art sparked controversy because their realism was seen as ugly and jarring by some critics and writers. Charles Dickens wrote that Millais’ “Christ” painting was “a hideous, wry-necked, blubbering, red-haired boy in a nightgown.”
  • The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood lasted five years and was dissolved by 1853 as the young members grew in different directions. But the movement had a long-lasting impact and inspired the formation of the Arts & Crafts Movement.

– Ana Osorno, SAM Communications Intern

Images: Installation view of Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts & Crafts Movement at Seattle Art Museum, 2019, © Seattle Art Museum, photo: Mark Woods.

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Tour Victorian Radicals with Chiyo Ishikawa

“It’s incredibly rich and it’s a way of making us rethink what radical is.”

– Chiyo Ishikawa

Tour Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts & Crafts Movement with SAM’s Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art and Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, Chiyo Ishikawa, and find out what was so sensational about the Pre-Raphaelites Brotherhood.

As industrialization brought sweeping changes to British life, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, and William Holman Hunt formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The young artists were reacting to the traditional training methods of the Royal Academy of Arts, which they regarded to be as formulaic as industrial methods of production. While these works of art may not offend the sensibilities of today’s audiences, they were referred to as “Lamentable and revolting . . .” and as “. . . Monstrously perverse . . .” by their contemporary critics.

Visit SAM through September 8 to see 150 works from the 19th century Britain and consider for yourself what makes art radical.

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