Art Collecting For Beginners

How To Start An Art Collection

All individuals that collect art find it an inspiring and stimulating pastime. Anyone can collect art you don’t have to be famous or rich, even Joe the plumbing technician can gather art. There are many different styles of art to choose from, specifically with the definition of art varying considerably from person to person. It makes no distinction what its style is, ultimately it’s your choice exactly to discover what is appealing, and how much you are willing to put down on the art piece.


Do You Want An Original Or A Print?

In the art collecting world, some individuals look down on collectors whose taste varies from theirs. There are those for example that will only acquire the original and would put their nose down at purchasing a print. If you’re just starting to gather art, you ought to bear in mind if you’re doing it for individual pleasure, then it isn’t essential to buy an original which could be way over budget. There is no need to be embarrassed when buying prints.

In fact this is one outstanding way to own framed art that would improve any wall, just as any original would, for much less. Naturally you would be losing the textures of the original piece which have measurement as well as the texture. Today there are many new printing techniques that can capture much of the fine details of the original. As a matter of fact there are numerous collectors of art prints by differing well know artists that were purchased inexpensively through art fairs, internet and galleries. These pieces come off looking classy and tasteful to the surprise of lots of people.

About Frames

When you discover a print or an original that you delight in, the option of framing it yourself or having an expert do it is a choice you’ll need to make. Usually you’ll find a wide variety frames in a wide variety of costs, beginning with inexpensive plastic or metal frames to really elaborate wood frames that are hand carved costing a little fortune. Making use of matting is used for enhancing the artwork inside the frame, matting is the use of illustration board or paper, however care must be utilized with matting as this could take away from the art itself. If you are uncertain of the how to of framing, take the print or original to an art store and take note of the different alternatives they use you, mats, styles, etcframes-for-artwork

Do not  hurry to make your decision, as your option might have a definite influence on how the artwork comes off, the incorrect color or design might actually lower the art, as well were you can place it, make certain it fits in.

If modern is your taste then frames of brushed metal would be the method to go to,  it’s low-cost however elegant at the same time. Lots of come in different colors, however bronze and black are the most popular, while maintaining a clean look.

If your strategy is to place the art in a gallery than black must be your choice as it is among the least costly. With most purchasers of art from galleries, would most likely have the work re- framed to their taste anyway. If wood is exactly what is preferred than you’re in luck due to the fact that you can have the frame stained or painted to go with any design. Mahogany and cherry are the leading choices due to the fact that the deep reds draw out a chic look to any art piece.

Travel Tips: Planning A Vacation That Works For You

Getting ready for a trip is an incredibly exciting time. You might even forget useful things while traveling. Know-how is the best tool for creating the best possible experience. This article offer some advice that will help make your trip a great one.

Leave your valuables at home. The more you take with you, the higher your chances of losing the items. Even worse, they could be stolen.

Pack lightly when traveling. This will help you avoid having anything lost. Limit how many shoes you bring since they sometimes take up a lot of space and weigh more than your other clothing items.

If you are on a short or long flight, don’t expect the airline to supply your essentials. Bring your own blanket, pillow and headphones if your trip is going to be a long one.  Having sound blocking headphones can reduce much of the noise around you.  You should also pack snacks to ensure that you won’t go hungry if you do not like what the airline offers.


Get a door stopper for additional safety when you stay in a hotel. Sometimes, you may need a tad more security at night when in your room. For example, the door to your hotel room may not have secure locks. In this case, you should have a rubber doorstop on hand to shove under the door.

Put your personal ID info inside your bags. It’s easy for a luggage tag to fall of if it’s hanging off your luggage. Put your ID inside your luggage so it can be returned to you if it is lost.

National Parks

If you are going to be a frequent visitor to the national parks, it only makes sense to get a yearly pass. The passes can be purchased for $50 and are a great deal as they cover all national parks for one full year.

If you have a child with you on your road trip, be sure to get out of the car every couple of hours. This will give you a chance to stretch your limbs. Having a child exit the car regularly will also avoid motion sickness. This will help everyone to stay happy on your trip.

When you take a cruise, chat with other guests during meals. Most ships seat you with strangers. Talk to people you meet. You will see them each day, and you could learn something new about your ship.

Any great vacation can go awry if proper research time is not used in the planning. Check online for reviews from real customers who’ve already visited the places you intend to stay and play at. Their experiences can assist in avoiding the wrong hotels or parts of town.  Visit local museums to get a feel for their history.


Try not to think too much about what could happen on your trip. Use the advice here before planning your next trip. Allow yourself some time to learn everything you can on travel, as it will pay off come vacation time.

The British Museum


The British museum building is fabulous as the exhibits found in the world’s most visited museum.   It opened its doors In 1753 and has been welcoming guests ever since. It was the first National public museum that allowed free admission all to enjoy the  wonderful  artifacts found inside.

glass-roof-in-british-museumThe museum was designed by Sir Norman Foster and its stone buildings encompass a two-acre space that was previously by the British Library.  What remains of the British library is a stunning around reading room that contains 3 miles of bookcases and 25 miles of shelves holding over 30,000 books. and unbelievable glass roof that covers the entire court, make it the largest covered public space in Europe.
There are numerous sculptures and exhibits around the courtyard that will entice you to continue further.  The layout of the museum allows you to choose where you want to start the visit unlike other museums or other where people follow one route the.
The oldest part of the museum is the restored former King’s library now called the Enlightenment gallery.   The exhibition focuses on the discovery and learning and best of Enlightenment luminary collectors during the 18 to 19th centuries.

The room has classical sculptures and many of the items items were collected by great people of the day.  Many of the items were collected by the great names of the day, Captain James Cook,  Charles Darwin and Howard Carter and also donated by King George the 3rd.

One of the scientific instruments is mechanical model of the solar system that shows how the Earth and planets revolve around the sun.

The museum holds many temporary exhibitions during the year and some exhibits exhibits show the intricacy of wedding costumes and jewelry.

The living and dying gallery  there is this giant statue known as the jua rock in Any.   First displayed on the ceremonial platform around 1000 AD and was later move to a ritual house. It was collected in 1868 and given as a gift to Queen Victoria who donated the get the artifact to the museum.

A life-size carving of a human skull made from a single block of rock crystal was acquired by the museum in 1867.   Research shows that the sculpture was most likely created in the 19th century.

The Native American gallery has a rich history of the American Indians  and is shown through headdress skins, and totems.

The Egypt and Middle Eastern section is the most popular gallery by  far with one of the most important archaeological finds ever,  the Rosetta Stone. This ancient Proclamation was written in hieroglyphics, Egyptian script and Greek Egyptian hieroglyphs.  The hieroglyphs would still not be able to be read if not for this important find.

One standout piece is the bronze cat representing the goddess Bastet.  An amazing piece dating from the Roman egypt mummyperiod around the year 30 BC. Another piece is the king list which shows is a chronological list showing all the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.   Before the era of mummification bodies were dried out in the desert, then laid out in coffins. As  mummification became the norm tombs and coffins became much more intricate and elaborate.  Shabtie figures  were placed next to coffins to assist in the afterlife.

The Parthenon  known as the Elgin marbles forms the greatest surviving achievements of classical Arts they are one of the Museum’s most controversial exhibits between 1801 and 1805 Lord Elgin began removing the marbles with the permission of the Greeks and transporting them to London. The Greeks now want them back.

The Romans invaded Britain in 43 BC.  Many pieces of gold and jewelry were dug up including gladiator helmets and stunning Portland bars made of Cameo glass. The Cameo glass is the most famous survivor that is extremely difficult to make.

time-piecesClockwork and time showcase some of the best clocks and  watches.  The most magnificent carillion  clock of Isaac made in 1589.  Watches made in the 16th century were housed in gilded and  enamel cases. One striking timepiece was made in Augsburg Germany in 1585. The striking of the hours and quarters were performed by sailors standing in the to the two crow’s nests of the mainmast  The ship  was mounted on the wheeled carriage so it could move along a dinner table propelled by clockwork and caused the cannon to fire.  The ship pitched up and down as if at sea.  The Holy roman empire moved his head and arms.






Described as just a few of the fantastic pieces and artefacts you can find at the London British Museum.  Visiting this museum should be on anyone’s to do list.

Blake News-General Meeting Of Friends

Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Blake Museum

Some 25 members attended the AGM on 12 October. The main business was agreeing to an increase in subscriptions and to strengthening the committee numbers, to permit better management of the Museum.

The Officers and Committee for the next year are: Bryan Gillard (Chairman), Chris Leigh (Vice Chairman), Bernice Lashbrook (Secretary), Ian Boyer (Treasurer), and Charlotte Edmonds (Shop Manager), Nick Wallace (Programme Secretary), John Willcocks (Talks publicity), Tony Woolrich (Newsletter editor and Webmaster).

Co-opted non-voting members are: Paul Berryman, John Robins, Kay Robins, Maggie Sampson. The committee has powers to add to this number during the year as appropriate.

Full details can be found in the AGM minutes and other papers sent with this newsletter.

Death of Tony Sampson

As we go to press it is with sadness that we give the news of the death of Tony Sampson on 3 November 2009. He was a founder member of the FOBM in 2000. Over the years he served as Treasurer and then as Vice-Chairman from which post he stepped down at the recent AGM. Bridgwater born, Tony was an accountant by profession and together with his wife, supported many other organisations in the community. Our thoughts go out to Maggie and her family.

Successful fund-raising

An appeal organised by Eleanor Dixon and targeted at members of the Blake Family has raised in excess of £1,300 towards the cost of installing a hearing-aid loop system for the meeting room. It will include a hand-microphone so questioners’ voices can be relayed by the system. It is planned to install the system shortly, before the meeting room is finished by the laying of the carpet.

More Fund Raising – a date for your diary

On Saturday 5 December, the Friends are holding a Christmas Fayre to raise funds for the Museum. As last year there will be stalls selling cakes, books and craft items. Please talk to Charlotte Edmonds, Paul Berryman or Tony Woolrich for details and to arrange for delivery of donations for the sale.

Winter shut-down

The schedules have been prepared and published for the Winter Works and the Curatorial tasks during the shut down, November 2009 – March 2010. Not everyone is interested in the building side, but a great deal of attention needs to be given to the collection and its management.

A team of volunteers works every Monday on building and maintenance work, and recent jobs have included fitting a new fuse board for the electricity supply, and making a start at installing the boiler for the new central heating system. Con- tractors are shortly coming in to insulate the Museum’s roof and repair the roof of the Mill building.

Winter 2009

If you can help, either get in touch by the contact page of the Friends’ website, or come into the Museum and fill out a green form, which can be found on the table in the Hall, and leave it in the office. Or ring 01278 456127.


No schools have responded to our invitation to make use of the Museum’s resources, though a party did arrive unannounced, not having bothered to make a booking in advance. Another attempt will be made shortly to interest schools in what we can offer them, and plans are in hand to devise activities based on the archaeological collection.

We are very heartened by the response we have had from the sixth form colleges for either small groups or individuals who are coming regularly to work on the collections. Some come as part of their International Baccalaureate, and others to gain valuable experience towards obtaining a University placement next year.

One week we had six students at work – three cataloguing the underwear and swimwear collection, one recording and transcribing notes about archaeological objects and another researching and writing the text of a descriptive caption to accompany the display of medieval inlaid tiles. The sixth has been reviewing the Museum’s collection of videotapes, with regard to rationalisation and substitution with DVDs.

From the Learning Co-ordinator – Kay Robins

Since taking on the role of Learning Co-ordinator last June I have been looking at ways to enhance the Learning opportunities and experiences for our future school and college visitors. All the necessary legislation is in place and volunteers have come forward to help as and when needed.

I have been given opportunities to attend several courses and make contact with other people in similar roles. I travelled to London on the 22nd October to the National Gallery where I was able to learn about a project called “Take One…..Portrait” We are in the process of contacting several schools in our locality to take this idea forward. It will be a wonderful chance to work with school groups and encourage participation .The portrait we are going to use is the one of Bridgwater-built SV Irene. We have secured funding of £2,310 from the County Museum Heritage Service.

Two Day Event – Volunteers needed to help

There will be a Two-Day Event in Angel Place called “Take One Hour” on the 19th & 20th February 2010. It will cover two full days. Representatives from Blake Museum, The Brick & Tile Museum and Westonzoyland Pumping Station be on hand to talk to members of the public about their organisation to encourage them to get involved with us as new volunteers. We shall have displays of information and artefacts and members of the Bridgwater Garrison will be on hand in costume to give out leaflets etc.

This is a great opportunity for FOBM volunteers to come forward to give some time on either of these days. We need to establish a rota, so please contact Bryan Gillard if you are interested.

Museum Library developments

The Town Council has purchased for the Museum’s Library a collection of CDs of the Somerset Census records for 1841-1901. These will be valuable for family history researchers and local historians, since they show the pattern of occupation of named properties as well as the make up of named family groups at particular dates. More bookcases are being installed, and we plan to add to the Library’s book stock.

Flower display

Many visitors have commented favourably on the elegant appearance of the entrance hall, which since the re-opening has been enhanced by the beautiful floral arrangements provided by Rosemary Bulled of the Bridgwater Floral Art Club. She deserves our grateful thanks for doing this.

Museum Information website

Development work has begun on the Museum Resources website ( see bottom of next column). Already the popular pages of the sets of Electors’ names have been put up. Images of coins, together with other scanned documents, have been added, and then thumbnails of photographs will follow. An image bank of the Bairdwear Collection of lingerie is in preparation. Information about the Library resources has been posted, as has the popular collection of Chubb images that visitors saw on the large screen in the meeting room. Two collections of magic lantern slides about Blake and Monmouth from the 1930s have been added.

Because of the many sections of the Collections, a novel tree navigation system is being developed which should ensure that the information needed is never more than three clicks away from the index page.

Any reader with experience in website development is very welcome to assist in maintaining this website as it promises to grow as more material is added to it.


Two exhibitions have been hosted at the Museum this month. One was about the Bridgwater Choral Society, whose 60th birthday occurred this year. It proved very popular and was extended by a week. The Museum’s new Hi-Tech facilities were made good use of, for a slide slide-show of images of the Society at work was played on the big screen, and at the same time a CD of Choral Society performances played quietly in the background. The sound could be turned off by remotely by the Custodian in the Hall when no-one was there.

The other was a display in the Gallery of the work of Wembdon Art Club, and this too has been extended by another week to end of Monday 9 November

Looped shots

Looped slide show with sound © Tony Woolrich, October 2009

art club

Wembdon Art Club. © Tony Woolrich, Oct 2009
A third exhibition was mounted 3-12 November of historic

photographs of Bridgwater Carnival Gangs found recently in the archive. Taken 50-80 years ago , they show the wealth of costume designs. A number of the photographs have the names of participants.

New donations to the Museum

Items presented to the museum since the last Newsletter have included memorabilia of Mr W. B. Trunks, a mariner who worked on vessels sailing out of Bridgwater early in the last century, a 2009 lapel badge for the Gremlins Carnival Club, and a little pocket-watch winding key. Just over an inch long, it was marked with the name and address of a watchmaker in Eastover, and is probably Edwardian. The barrel had a square hole in it to fit a stem about 1/16in across.

Bridgwater Choral Society has given its collection of posters, programmes and photographs to the Museum. A record book dating from 1910 has been presented to the Museum relating to the working of the rail link to the Docks from the main line.

A fascinating item was a copy of the Bridgwater Mercury for December 1913, donated to the Museum for the advertising interest. Though not a complete issue – some of the inner news pages are missing – it includes a news story on the back page about a traveller who fell from a GWR train as it was passing through Bridgwater on the way to Bristol. Though suffering bad head injuries he was able to crawl to the gardener’s cottage at Bristol Road cemetery and ask for aid. The police procured a handcart and took him to Bridgwater Infirmary, where he was tended by a lady surgeon. It reads like a Conan Doyle short story! Was he pushed, or did he fall? What happened next? Did he marry the surgeon, or perhaps she was his long-lost sister who was stolen by the gypsies as a child?

Published by The Friends of Blake Museum,
5 Blake Street, Bridgwater, TA6 3NB Registered Charity No 1099815
© November 2009
Tel: 01278 456127; email: Websites:
Friends: Museum: Resources:

Autumn News

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING at the Meeting Room, Blake Museum, 13 October at 7.30pm

With this newsletter are included papers for the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Blake Museum. Please read these carefully, since they are important, and your support is needed. Do attend the meeting if you possibly can.

There will be vacancies to be filled on the Committee for the majority of the elected positions, as well as the co-opted members. All the elected members are Trustees of the Charity as well. The positions of Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and Programme Secretary need to be filled, as does the post of Shop Manager.

Please consider being nominated.

In addition, the Annual General meeting will be asked to vote on changes to the Constitution. This has been brought about by the need to strengthen the management of the Museum.


Administrative tasks have featured much in recent weeks. Many readers will not be aware of the mass of detailed behind-the-scenes administrative work that has been needed from volunteers from the Friends to enable the Museum to function as an accredited Museum.

The work of preparing the documentation for the biennial review of Accreditation is nearly finished. This has to be done every two years, and is the means of ensuring the Museum maintains high standards. A Statement of Purpose has been drawn up, with a list of Key Aims. From this a list of Guiding Practical Objectives has been drawn up, which informs the schedule of tasks to be done during the various shut-down periods.

Much time has been spent finalising various notes for Museum Volunteers on health and safety procedures. Work has also been done writing the Museum Disaster Plan for the Accreditation, in organising log books for fire precautions and ladder inspections, and in formulating the Museum’s policies for Learning. Also setting up the procedures for the relevant volunteers who deal with children who need to be vetted by the Criminal Records Bureau.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Museum Talks to the end of 2009

Tuesday 10 November. My life as a Policeman, Cllr Philip Smeed Tuesday 9 December, Afternoon entertainment 2.15 – 3.45. The Annual Christmas gathering at the Museum.

Winter shut-down for continuing refurbishment

Thursday 12 November 2009 to Tuesday 31 March 2010 but meetings and pre-planned visits continue.

Invitation to tea

All Friends, Custodians and volunteers are invited to tea at the Museum on Wednesday 16 September at 3.00pm. This is to say thank you to everyone who has ever helped over the years to ensure the Museum was saved and remains open.


Forthcoming exhibitions

9-22 September – Handwriting
13-24 October – Bridgwater Choral Society
Gallery, 1-31 October – Wembdon Painting Group
25 May – 6 June 2010 to celebrate 103 years since the launch of the Irene, the last Bridgwater-built ship


A heartening number of new volunteers have added themselves to our ranks in recent weeks. Not all wish to become a Friend, of course, but their help and enthusiasm is very welcome. We must not be com- placent, for people move on, and the numbers should be kept up.


Visitor numbers have been good in recent weeks, with a number of mornings exceeding twenty, and on one day we had over fifty. Quite a number were parents and children, and the shop did well in consequence.


One of the aims of the Museum is now to become a centre of excellence for the investigation of the local history of the area.

Discussions are ongoing with the University of the Third Age (U3A) with the aim of some of their members becoming involved in local history projects based at the Museum. These might range from organising an oral history project – interviewing older people who have

memories of the district, to researching the lives of the fallen whose names appear on war memorials.
Scans have begun to placed on the Museum’s website of various documents, such as electors’ lists, and names of people in receipt of the Bread Dole, under the old Poor Law. Resources like these are of great value to family historians. Work needs to be done to transcribe the names in these lists.

The Museum’s collection of photographs will also be placed on the web, and will require identifying and captioning.

This is important work, and if you have a serious interest in history, please consider helping on the local history team.


Copyright © Dr P. E. Cattermole, 2009. Reproduced by permission; all rights reserved.
Ancient worked stones resting in the garden are meticulously recorded by young archaeologists led by Kerri Wheeler, BA ,assisted by Ceri Maltby and Sam Foster.

Young archaeologists who have joined the volunteers for the summer have been investigating the stones in the garden.

All the archaeological artefacts have been recorded to proper archaeological standards, and individual pieces taken out of present display for detailed recording, measurement and identification. Three splendid pieces of columns from the Franciscan Friary from the 1935 excavations at Friarn Avenue have been identified, together with a piece of window tracery from the Hospital of St John. These will be brought inside for display in the Larger Objects Gallery (Room 4, formerly the Blake room).


All the panelling up the staircase and in the hall has now been scraped, stained with Vandyke Brown, then finished with beeswax and turpentine, before being buffed to a glossy finish. It positively glows – many thanks to Chris Leigh, the volunteer responsible. The panelling in the entrance lobby will be done shortly.


The Bridgwater Mercury for December 1913, with pages of local advertising; a collection of sail-makers’ tools – thread, wax and a

selection of various needles; the name plate from the front door of the Bridgwater Building Society’s office in King Square, (now the offices of Sedgemoor District Council); a bronze medal struck in 1974 to commemorate the demise of the Borough of Bridgwater , and two medals struck in 1918 by the Borough Council to celebrate the end of the First World War.

We have to be very selective, restricting objects to our collecting area, and filling gaps in our coverage. Just because it is old won’t guarantee we will take it, but we can often suggest an alternative home. We are heartened by what the public is bringing in, and their evident pride in helping the Museum.


The Museum sub-Committee agreed to the transfer of the model of the Battle of Sedgemoor to the new Zoyland Heritage Centre. See The aim is to advance the education of the public in the Battle of Sedgemoor and related history, including the role of St Mary’s Church, Westonzoyland, Somerset

The model is too large to be got up the stairs to the present Battle of Sedgemoor display, so there was no alternative to taking it out of the building. The model was reputedly built by a previous Vicar of the church, about 50 years ago, so it is apt that it returns there.


The final concert of the season will be given on Sunday 27 September by Taunton Concert Band starting at 2.00pm. The Friends will again be serving refreshments as a means of raising funds for the work we do.


Learning is not just for children, but for visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

A three-year action plan has been devised for learning with the aim of the Museum delivering quality presentations, activities and information. There is the goal of the Museum becoming a centre of excellence.

It is planned to refresh the displays and create new ones to reflect the new Statement of Purpose, so that visitors are better informed about what they see. Volunteers are urgently needed to work on the enhancement of the displays. If you have skills in design and graphics there is a place for you.

Arrangements can be made by schools, colleges and other organisations who wish to visit and experience on-site activities. These will be tailor-made to satisfy the objects of the visit by individual groups.

Published by The Friends of Blake Museum, 5 Blake Street, Bridgwater, TA6 3NB Registered Charity No 1099815
© September 2009

Tel: 01278 456127; email: