by Howard Morgan
oil on canvas, 1993
44 in. x 39 3/4 in. (1118 mm x 1012 mm)
Artistback to top
- Howard James Morgan (1949-2020), Painter. Artist of 8 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 563
- Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 191 Read entry
Carved and gilt obeche(?), mitred and keyed, the top leaf-and-berry carving applied, gilt in white gold over a red bole layered with yellow, the scoop burnished and sealed. 3 1⁄ 4 inches wide.
Howard Morgan's frames, which are distinguished by their high quality, have often taken late seventeenth-century bunched-leaf frames as their starting-point. Since 1987 Morgan has worked with Alexander George Ley & Sons, a London family firm of framemakers based in Kentish Town, who have produced both hand-carved and less expensive compo frames.1 This particular frame, billed in October 1993 as a 'Carved & gilt reproduction Louis XIII berry and leaf frame. White gold', at a cost of £1880, was the result of discussion between the artist and Anthony Ley, who produced a trial frame section while the portrait was in progress, as a photograph in the National Portrait Gallery's files records.
This type of frame has an antecedent in an earlier portrait by Morgan owned by the Gallery, that of the conductor, Herbert Howells, painted in 1978, which was framed for the Gallery by John Davies in a silvered reproduction acorn and-leaf frame in the English style; this was chosen as a result of a conversation between the artist and the curator, Robin Gibson, who had just had a rather similar reproduction frame made for another portrait.2
1 Information from Howard Morgan and Anthony Ley, April 1996.
2 Information from Robin Gibson, May 1996.
Events of 1993back to top
Current affairsThe Conservative Party is attacked in the media for 'sleaze'. Two MP's resign over sex scandals, two over the 'cash-for-questions affair', and one dies in bizarre and embarrassing circumstances. Journalist Max Clifford was responsible for exposing many of the scandals.
Black teenager Stephen Lawrence is murdered in a racist attack by a gang of white youths.
Art and scienceRachel Whiteread wins the Turner Prize for her sculpture House; a concrete cast of the inside of a Victorian terraced house in East London. Controversy was caused by the work itself, by it winning the Turner Prize, and by the decision of Tower Hamlets council to demolish the sculpture.
British inventor James Dyson revolutionises the vacuum cleaner with his eponymous design.
InternationalCzechoslovakia is divided into two countries: the Slovak Republic (Slovakia) and the Czech Republic. The division was peaceful and democratic and so became known as the 'Velvet Divorce', recalling the 'Velvet Revolution' of 1989 by which Communism in Czechoslovakia was overthrown through peaceful mass demonstrations.
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