Last chance to see: Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud

17 Sept 2019


Last chance to see:

Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud
Crowds flock to see Ruskin masterpieces in Cumbria

More than 6000 people have visited Abbot Hall Art Gallery’s latest exhibition - making it one of the most popular shows in recent years.

Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud opened on 12 July and has been a big hit with audiences.

There are less than three weeks to see this amazing exhibition before it closes on Saturday 5 October.

The exhibition examines Ruskin’s relationship with Turner’s work and the impact Ruskin had in highlighting climate change. It also features contemporary work by Royal Academician Emma Stibbon.

Visitors have been wowed by the art as well as commenting on issues around global warming.

Kerri Offord, Head of Curatorial at Lakeland Arts, said: “We’ve had a fantastic response to this exhibition in terms of numbers of visitors through the door and the debates sparked by the artworks.

“This is one of the biggest exhibitions we’ve ever staged. Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud includes more than 135 works and stretches across six galleries.

“It’s been wonderful to get such an overwhelming positive response from visitors. Key themes in the show include climate change and mental health. Given that these are two major issues today the exhibition has certainly struck a chord with visitors.”

John Ruskin (1819-1900) was the leading English art historian of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, prominent social thinker and philanthropist.

It’s particularly apt that the exhibition has been taking place in Cumbria - the home of Ruskin and the place he found most inspiration. And this year has been extra special being the 200th anniversary of Ruskin’s birthday.

JMW Turner (1775-1881) was a landscape painter, traveller, poet and teacher. Many people consider him the first modern painter.

Alongside these two icons of painting, contemporary artist Emma Stibbon’s large monochrome drawings and cyanotype photographs reveal the effects of a warming climate in The Alps.

Stibbon will return to Abbot Hall on Friday 4 October for a sold-out talk about her work. The event will be streamed live on Abbot Hall’s Facebook page.

Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud will close on 5 October.

A selection of comments left in exhibition visitors’ book:

“Fabulous. How lucky we are to live where some of these wonderful exhibits are.”

“Marvellous exhibition. Brilliant to see Turner and Ruskin’s work. Emma Stibbon is a new name to me and a revelation.”

“Beautiful exhibition. I left feeling desperate to go back to my paintbox.”

“Very interesting to learn Ruskin anticipated climate concerns. Very well presented and informative exhibition.”

“Ruskin’s comments about global warming were 150-years-ago. We must act now before it’s too late”

“A beautiful and evocative collection of paintings”

Abbot Hall partnered with York Art Gallery and University of York on this exhibition. Works from both Abbot Hall and York Art Gallery are on show alongside substantial loans from national and regional collections.

This exhibition was first shown at York Art Gallery from March to June where it was also a massive draw for visitors.
More details of Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud:


Notes to editors:
For further information contact Dickie Felton

Abbot Hall Art Gallery: 

Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal opened in 1962. It has built up an outstanding collection and a strong reputation for showing exhibitions of national and international artists of the highest quality. In 2018 it showed work ranging from Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin to contemporary artists Elisabeth Frink and Alison Watt. The gallery and surrounding estate will undergo a major redevelopment planned to start in 2020.

Lakeland Arts:

Lakeland Arts has a portfolio of galleries and museums in the Lake District. It’s venues are Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry, Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House. A new museum: Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories opened in March 2019.

Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry:

Abbot Hall also houses the Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry in the former coach house and stables. The Museum opened in 1971. Immerse yourself in Lake District history, discover the region’s past in farming, mining and tanning. Find out about Swallows and Amazons author Arthur Ransome and stroll down a Victorian Street. The Museum also has a regular programme of exhibitions.

Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House:

Blackwell is situated in Bowness-on-Windermere and is architect MH Baillie Scott's greatest house. Built as a Lake District rural holiday retreat for the Manchester brewery owner, Sir Edward Holt, today it is an outstanding example of an Arts & Crafts House. Retaining most of its original decorative features. It is a perfect setting for exhibitions of historical and contemporary craft. 

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories:

Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories opened on 23 March 2019. Designed by Carmody Groarke architects, this is a new world-class museum in a stunning setting on Windermere displaying an internationally important collection of boats which are all associated with Windermere. The National Lottery Heritage Fund is the major funder for the Museum. Grants are made possible by National Lottery players. The project is also supported by Regional Growth Fund and Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund.

York Art Gallery:

York Art Gallery, founded in 1892, is home to a rich collection of art spanning over 600 years, from the fourteenth century to the present day. Highlights include early religious Ital- ian panels, seventeenth-century Dutch masterpieces, Victorian narrative paintings, and twentieth-century works by artists such as LS Lowry and David Hockney, as well as the largest collection of work by York-born artist William Etty RA and a large collection of works on paper. The Gallery also holds the most extensive and representative collection of studio ceramics, showcased in the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA). Following a major £8 million redevelopment project which created sixty percent more display space and new gardens, the Gallery reopened in 2015 and now runs a dynamic programme of temporary exhibi- tions of both contemporary and historic art.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): 

New General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into effect in May 2018. We want to ensure that your data is handled correctly. One of the main requirements is to make sure we have your consent to receiving certain types of communication – and I would be grateful if you could confirm that you are happy to receive communications from Lakeland Arts about programmes and events by emailing

  • John Ruskin, Dawn, Coniston, 1873, Watercolour over pencil, Acquired with the support of a V&A Purchase Grant and the Friends of Abbot Hall, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria.jpg
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