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In 1825, Mr J.H. Johnson had exhibited paintings at art exhibitions held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Carlisle, to less than total acclaim. In 1826, he decided to take a step further, by organising a wide-ranging exhibition of paintings and drawings, from Old Masters to modern works by local amateurs, in the prosperous port of Whitehaven. Here are newspaper accounts of the event:

Cumberland Pacquet, 18 Oct 1825

225. Holiday Time. J.H. Johnson. We like many parts of this picture very well, but the drawing, we fear, in some instances is rather faulty. The grouping, however, and general effect of the picture are good, and promise better things by and bye. Mr. Johnson also has a picture entitled "Composition," which is in many respects praiseworthy.

Cumberland Pacquet, 25 Jul 1826
THE Inhabitants of Whitehaven and its Vicinity are respctfully informed that an EXHIBITION of the WORKS of ANCIENT and MODERN ARTISTS will be opened in Mr. Kelty's Room, Irish Street, Whitehaven, on SATURDAY the 12th Day of August next; and all those desirous of sending Pictures, either for Exhibition or Sale, are requested to intimate their Intention to Mr. J.H. JOHNSON, at Mr. Rawlins's, Grocer, Market-place, Whitehaven, previous to the 31st Inst.; after which Time none can be admitted.
Whitehaven, July 24th, 1826.

Our readers will see by an advertisement in a preceding column that it is intended to open an exhibition of paintings here, in the course of next month, under the supervision of Mr. J.H. Johnson. We hope it will succeed, and by doing so have a tendency to upset the charge of a want of taste of our neighbours, who have assumed to themselves a superiority over us in point of refinement which we are not quite disposed to yield to them. Within the last few years the delightful science of music has been very much cultivated by the amateurs of this town, who have attained a high degree of excellence higly creditable to their taste and very rarely equalled; with this fact before us, we do not despair of seeing the sister art arrive in time at the same perfection. The undertaking is very much applauded, and possesses the most distinguished patronage.

Cumberland Pacquet, 1 Aug 1826
SIR.- I was highly gratified in perusing the columns of your paper last week, to see that an Exhibition of Ancient and Modern Paintings is about to be established in Whitehaven, the promoting of which is highly creditable to Mr. Johnston, and will evince sure indications of a refined taste, and a love for the Arts, in the Ladies and Gentlemen who may come forward to aptronise and encourage it. The love of Painting, like Poetry and Music, is rational and praise-worthy; neither does it (like some pursuits too prevalent in the Nation) derogate from the service of that Being, who has endowed us with all the powers of body and intellect which we possess. On the contrary, it is no uncommon circumstance to find persons who have a knowledge of the Fine Arts more amiable, virtuous, and engaging, and even in some cases to have more exalted ideas of "things sacred and divine." The pious Cowper, whose writings were only exceeded by his exemplary life, has spoken of painting in the most commendable terms-
"To teach the canvass, innocent deceit,
Or lay the landscape on the snowy sheet;-
These, these are Arts pursued without a crime,
That leave no stain upon the wing of time,"
It was gratifying to the encouragers of Arts, to see the Carlisle Academy last year attended by the highest personages in the city and its environs, some of whom enriched the Exhibition with the most valuable gems of Art which they possessed, from the pencils of the most distinguished Artists, ancient and modern; and with a liberality highly laudable, purchased paintings which they thought possessed merit, executed by young Artists, thus the young men received a remuneration for their labour, and were stimulated to bring forward their productions another year. He who is the means of rewarding and bringing forward talent and genius to public observation, is a national acquisition, and an honourable ornament to the country in which he lives; for wherever the Arts have been fostered and cultivated, they have tended in some degree, to refine the knowledge and meliorate the manners of the people-
"Ingenuas didicisse fideliter Artes
Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros."
Institutions of this nature require the hand of opulence and respectability to bring them into general notice, and I trust that the one now before us will be countenanced and supported by our influential neighbours.

Cumberland Pacquet, 8 Aug 1826
FINE ARTS.- The opening of the Exhibition of Paintings in this town, is unavoidably deferred until Monday the 28th instant.- See the advertisement.- As we anticipated, the undertaking has obtained the patronage of all the principal gentlemen in this town and neighbourhood.

THE Public is respectfully informed that the opening of the above Exhibition is unavoidably postponed to MONDAY the 21st Instant.
Whitehaven, 4 July, 1826. [i.e. mistake for 4 August]

Cumberland Pacquet, 15 Aug 1826
It has been very justly observed by a celebrated writer, that the art of painting has seldom or ever flourished except where artists have either been encouraged by hope or excited by emulation. To encourage and to excite the young artist, it is necessary that his productions should be brought before the public, and we trust that in Whitehaven there is public spirit enough to support an exhibition of Paintings, and liberality enough to reward the artist whose productions may be brought to the exhibition for the purpose of sale. An Institution of this kind, when patronized by a liberal Public, will answer three very important ends: it will cultivate public taste- be a source of considerabe gratification to all who may visit it- and finally, will be the means of bringing into public notice, humble merit, and of rewarding talent wherever it may be found. With this view of the subject, we most sincerely wish success to the present undertaking, and hope that Mr Johnson's exertions to gratify the public in this way will be duly appreciated. We have already announced to the public that the opening of the exhibition has been postponed (for very beneficial reasons) till the 28th Instant. We are anxious to keep the subject alive in the public mind. Several influential friends have stept forward, and every thing promises well. The rapid progress which the Carlisle institution has made towards celebrity, has encouraged the admirers of the fine arts in Whitehaven- in the hope that there is nothing wanted but a little exertion on their part, and a spirited appeal to the public, to secure to this institution a similar degree of success.

Cumberland Pacquet, 22 Aug 1826
THE above Exhibition will be opened to the Public on MONDAY next, the 28th Instant, and will remain open until further Notice.
Hours of attendance, from Eight o'Clock in the Morning until Dusk.
Admission, One Shilling.- Tickets for the Season, Three Shillings.- Catalogues, 6d.

Cumberland Pacquet, 29 Aug 1826
The Exhibition of Paintings in this town was opened yesterday, and certainly, although we had but a hurried glance at the collection, that glance was sufficient to call forth our warmest admiration, mixed with no slight degree of astonishment. To have procured so many works of art, all of such excellence, must have cost Mr. Johnson the most indefatigable assiduity, and we hope his exertions will meet with their due reward. We dare say the project at first may have appeared visionary to many, and to ourselves its success has at times appeared rather doubtful, but incessus labor omnia vincit; and whatever opinions may have been formed at its outset, only one can prevail at its completion- that of superior excellence. The arrangement of the pictures is highly creditable, and the tout-ensemble on entering the room is extremely beautiful.- It is pleasant to see Whitehaven joining in the praiseworthy struggle to partake of the honour which a cultivation of taste and art never fails to confer. The results of such pursuits are uniformly more glorious than victories, more "durable than brass." We shall endeavour, in our next, to give our readers some idea of the respective merits of the pictures, and of the nature and extent of the collection. In the mean time, however, we earnestly recommend them to visit the Exhibition themselves, from which they cannot but derive the highest gratification.

Written on the prospective opening of the Exhibition of Paintings, in Whitehaven.
When ventrous commerce fills the swelling sail,
Importing treasure with the fav'ring gale;
Diffusing wide the elegance of life,
While Arts are emulous with hallow'd strife:
Artists devote their consecrated hours
In social union blending varied pow'rs.
Expressive forms on canvass seem to breathe,
And vivid hues from Titian's touch receive.
Let Neptune grim, in hollow accents roar,
And, foaming, rage against our northern shore;
Let angry billows lash the trembling ground,
The pier projecting and the opposing mound,
While pondrous rocks seem in the tempest drown'd.
And in the depths of elemental strife,
The god, remorseless, spares not human life.
An awful scene! Salvator Rosa's touch,
Of storm and terror here might blend so much;
The shrieking victims, worn with toil and years,
So vivid paint their agonizing fears,
As to suffuse the manly cheek with tears. *
Smirke, honour'd name, of Cumbria the pride,
This strong effect !- thy skilful hand hath tried,
Nor tried in vain- the dark appalling scene
Portrays distress with so expressive mien,
That melting pity fill'd the Veteran's breast
And humane sympathy, his heart impress'd.
The glowing piece outlives the wreck of time,
As Smirke's memorial of the Art sublime. +
No feigned fiction here illudes my pen,
The truth attest- ye ancient living men;
Who from the shores the fatal wreck survey'd,
And saw advent'rous spirits well repaid.
Drew o'er the deep the mother's fainting form,
Regardless of the fury of the storm;
Tho' oft' immers'd beneath the swelling wave,
The pregnant female- you resolv'd to save.
This deed heroic shall transmit your fame
As Smirke's fine hand perpetuates your name.
The rough-hewn seamen, of athletic mould,
Patient of toil, undaunted, daring, bold;
Unmov'd survey the frowning of the sky,
And teust to guardian angels thron'd on high.
Oe'r ocean's bosom wafting precious stores,
Augmenting wealth by trade to foreign shores:
Let hard-earned riches then be well applied,
Diffusing blessings from the swelling tide;
A sailor's "failings lean to virtues side."
Proud Commerce ! Hail- of lib'ral arts the friend,
O may thy generous spirit here descend
To fan the fire of genius into fame
Allum'd by Rubens or his deathless fame.
Fresh ardour give, by friendly acts benign,
To rising talents, that neglected pine.
Genius shall wake from torpor in the shade,
Nor blush unseen beneath th' unfriendly glade.
Its studious labours meeting due reward,
With laurel crown'd benignly by some bard;
Shall live perennial through corroding time-
Shall still survive in ev'ry varying clime.
Let sordid av'rice play the Stoic's part,
Spurn Titian's beauty with a callous heart;
The golden image greedily adore,
Fill all his coffers- eager grasp at more.
Perverting passions have his heart beguil'd,
And generous feelings from his breast exil'd.
This mass of meanness view'd in the gross,
Lives in dire pen'ry but to guard his dross.
Depict the lib'ral patron's counter part,
With taste refin'd- benevolent in heart;
With nice discernment modest worth repays,
And cheers his efforts with the need of praise.
West, unassuming, might have toil'd alone,
Had not a patron mark'd his genius dawn.
Beneath the shed with unremitting toil,
He to the life drew Indians on their soil:
Their vig'rous muscles and Herculean frame,
Their graceful attitudes his study claim.
With iron sinews pointing the fateful dart,
Transfix'd the arrow through the beating heart,
Of tim'rous deer that through the forest roam,
To feats with sav'ry food their squaws at home.
Thus West from nature copied figures true,
And ev'ry outline bold and faithful drew,
He truth with beauty happily combines,
And grace infus'd with heighten'd lustre shines.

August 27, 1826. CUMBRIENSIS

* Aeneas's sensibility was highly excited while contemplating the historical paintings in the temple of Juno, at Carthage.
"- atque animum pictura pascit inani
Multa gemens; largoque humectal flumine vultum." [recte: "umectat flumine voltum."]
Virg. Aeneid Lib. I. Line 463 and 5. [recte: 464 and 5]

+ Forty years ago when Mr. Smirke was on a visit to his friends in Whitehaven, a vessel was wrecked two or three hundred yards south of the present new pier; he was an eyewitness of the melancholy event, and he immediately commemorated the pathetic scene by depicting faithfully the affecting incidents connected with it. The painting I have often pored over at his house in London, and always felt much impressed by the striking expression of fear, terror, and dismay on the countenances of the distressed sufferers, and the sublime portraiture of the raging elements, and the fury of the storm, over which the moon seems to cast her pale and trembling light; and vivid lightning illuminates awfully the scene.

Carlisle Journal, 2 Sep 1826
The Whitehaven Artists Exhibition commenced its career, on Monday last under the auspices of Mr. Johnson. We understand a tolerable collection of paintings. We hope that it will succeed; but we cannot help thinking that a more appropriate season of the year might be found than the very period when the Carlisle Academy is about to open.

Cumberland Pacquet, 5 Sep 1826
[No continuation of last week's poem in this or any other issue of the Pacquet]

[Please note that the following list of paintings in the Whitehaven exhibition has been compiled and rearranged from articles spread over the 5 and 12 September issues of the Pacquet; I have left gaps for paintings not described, in the hope that a copy of the printed catalogue may some day be found.]

We now fulfil the promise made to our readers last week by entering upon a slight review of the merits of the different pictures, and shall begin with
2A Fish A. DalzellA picture of very considerable merit: the Salmon in particular is one of the finest representations of nature that we have ever met with; the Haddocks' heads too, seen at the corner, are excellent.
3Views in St. Michael'samateurHad the young lady with the reticule been dispensed with, we should have called this a very sweet little picture; as it is (despite her little taper foot and ancle) we cannot help thinking she spoils the scene.
4The lucky Sportsman"after Morland"This is indeed after Morland, and a very long way behind him; the length of the lady's legs make them quite natural curiosities; the sportsman himself and his dog are better.
5Portrait of a GentlemanI. HeardWhoever has once seen the original of this portrait cannot for a moment hesitate about the resemblance. It is painted by a native artist, now in London, and is highly creditable to his abilities.
7A BacchanteG. SheffieldThis is no doubt a copy after Romney, and the original of the picture is the Lady Hamilton, of notorious memory. She is, in our eyes, one of the loveliest beings that ever had the misfortune to be brought into this world of ours, to participate in its follies and its vices.
8LandscapeW. KingA very beautiful scene and no less ably executed. The piece of water in the corner is beautifully clear and transparent.
9The taking of La ClorindeWhitcombA very sweet little marine picture. The sky and water are exquisitely painted.
10View of Whitehaven from the SouthW. KingVery correct; and with a little more attention to aerial perspective would have been a very pleasing picture.
11An affair with the Spanish Gun-Boats off GibraltarJ. Gunson Esq.This is an exquisite drawing: the sky, the smoke from the brig, and the hazy effect in the distance, are proofs of the very highest genius, and the whole picture exhibits a composition which it would be difficult to find excelled.
14Craigmethen CastleMiss A. Havens[with 17] Two pretty drawings. The former we believe is the original of the Castle of Tillitudlam, in the tale of Old Mortality.
15The departure of Joseph into EgyptBrownThis is surely a misnomer in the catalogue: it must be the departure of Joseph into Cumberland, for it is assuredly a view in this county. We question whether there were any arched bridges in Egypt in those days, or printed books, yet Joseph is apparently reading the Bible, but what edition of it we will leave to those more learned in such matters to determine. These anachronisms apart, however, it is really a very beautiful picture: there is a fine warmth of tone over the whole, and the penciling of the foliage is extremely well done.
17View in VeniceMiss A. Havens[see 14] "pretty drawing"
19Eli and Samuel_The head of Eli would be invaluable to a Craniologist: that bump (we beg pardon, organ) on the forehead is of the most magnificent dimensions.
20LandscapeCapt. WilsonA beautiful little picture,- very freely and effectively painted.
21The MendicantChisholmThe figure of the old blind man is very good: of the little girl we cannot speak so highly.
22Virgin and ChildCarlo MarattiThis is a very fine picture. The blue drapery and the infant are in the very highest order of art: if there be a fault, it is that the face of the Madonna is too young, and wants the inspiration which is naturally expected to be found in it.
25FruitGray[see 28] "... of the finest specimens of fruit painting we have ever seen"
28FruitGray[with 25, listed at that number] These are two of the finest specimens of fruit painting we have ever seen: the bird's nest in the latter is completely deceptive: in fact, in looking at this picture, we almost forget the flat surface, and fancy the presence of nature.
29Head of St. AntonioMurilloA very fine specimen of this great master.
30Moonlight SceneamateurThe ruddy light from the forge presents a fine contrast to the pale moonlight, and altogether produces a very agreeable effect.
31CattleLe Cave[with 53] The best picture we have ever seen by this unfortunate man. There is also No. 53, by the same Artist, but very inferior to No. 31.
32The visit from the Poor Relations (after Stephanoff)J. M'ClellanWe have seen the original of this picture, yet notwithstanding can look upon the copy with very near the same satisfaction. [describes the scene, which also featured on prints of the period] The execution of every part of the picture is excellent, and we cannot point out any particular feature which is less ably treated than another. [more description] We say to Mr. M'Clellan- "go on, and prosper:" and would strongly advise him to attempt something original. He has all the requisite abilities for the mechanism of his art, and we should like to see his genius and talent exerted in a composition of his own.
33Twelve Portraits of the most eminent Ancient Masters, with a Madona and Child in the centreunknownThe portraits are perfect gems; the Madona in the centre seems to be the work of another and inferior artist.
37original drawing in Indian inkOwenThis is a very interesting picture, and executed in a free masterly style, giving all the requisite effect with little or no apparent labour: the female with the child at her breast is delightfully drawn.
38Encampment of Gipsies, moonlightJ. WilliamsThe effect in this picture is excellent: the dark and wild appearance of the sky possesses all the truth of nature. The idea of the lad frightening another with a burning brand is well managed. There is rather too great a volume of smoke for the nature of the fire- being nothing but a few red embers; but this might have been overlooked had the smoke itself been better managed .
39Cattle (after Le Cave)amateur[with 40] Very excellent copies, and ably executed
40Cattle (after Le Cave)amateur[see 39]
41Rosthwaite, in BorrowdaleA Lady[with 52] In the leading article of a late number of Blackwood's Magazine, they say- "Gallantry forbids but truth commands to say, that young ladies are sorry sketchers. The dear creatures have no notion of perspective. At flower-painting and embroidery they are pretty fair hands, but they make sad work among water-falls and ruins [etc. on female representations of animals and people; it's worth mentioning, however, that the article, in the July 1826 issue, titled "Hints for the Holiday. No. I." and its sequels- written by Wordsworth's friend John Wilson, aka "Christopher North"- do include some interesting observations on Lake District landscapes]" Now this is all extremely witty, no doubt, and in many instances we dare say it may be very correct, but in the Lady (a native of Cumberland and proprietor of the scene depicted in No. 41) who painted these two pictures, we see a bright exception; for these works betray all the energy and feeling, all the taste, execution, and judgement both of drawing and colouring, which stamp her at once a mistress of the art. No. 41, in particular, is a picture which it would be impossible to excel: the colouring shows a complete attention to nature, of which it is a most faithful resemblance.

[It was this description which first attracted my attention to the 1826 exhibition. There is a high probability that the artistic "lady" owning property at Rosthwaite in Borrowdale is Miss Mary Barker, friend to Dorothy Wordsworth, Robert Southey and others; although by 1826 she had moved to France, tax records indicate that she still owned the home she had created in Borrowdale (later converted to become the Scawfell Hotel).]
42LandscapeJ. Gunson, Esq.A delightful water-colour drawing: the foliage is executed in a most spirited manner, and the general effect is beautiful.
43Dutch Boats in a CalmJ. Gunson, Esq.This is equally good: the water and haze in the distance are capitally managed.
45TroutE. BradleyWith what delight old Isaak Walton would have gazed upon this picture ! he would have seen and appreciated the truth of nature, which is so apparent in every touch. It is infinitely superior to any thing of the kind we have ever seen.
46Landscape, and Horses wateringunknownA very beautiful picture in the style of Morland. The effect of the light among the trees is very fine.
47An AssassinJ.T. Dutton[with 89 and 112] A clever little picture.
50Portrait of Sir Christopher Sandford, Bart.Vandyke[This was presumably a Sandford of Howgill Castle, Westmorland, but none of the Baronets in the family was named Christopher] This has every appearance of once having been a Vandyke,- but alas for the barbarity which could dictate, and the Goth who could so far deface it as he has done with his abominable vermilion.
52Scene in WalesA Lady[see 41]
53Cattle?Le Cave[see 31] very inferior to No. 31
54Line of Battle Ship on shoreJ. Gunson Esq.[with 80] This is another proof of the talent which this gentleman possesses for marine subjects.
55Girl at Cottage Door sewingR. Westall, R.A.An excellent little specimen of the style of this eminent artist: it is nature throughout.
60Study of a Female HeadRomanelliThis is certainly the finest picture in the Exhibition: the longer we look at it the more we admire its perfections. The colouring is flesh itself.
61Dutch CourtshipOstadeA very clever picture, but not equal to the generality of the performances we have seen of this celebrated master.
64SybilH. Howard R.A.This is a most fascinating picture; how sweetly contemplation is here depicted,- what delicacy of beauty,- what expression in those eyes,- and what a hand and arm!- we would withdraw from touching them as from committing a profanation!
65Study of a headSchedoniThis is a splendid piece of art: 'tis beyond our praise.
66Madonna and ChildCarlo MarattiWe should rather feel inclined to question the authenticity of this picture: nevertheless it is very beautiful.
67Landscape, in Turpentine coloursJ. Gunson Esq.[with 75] A most admirable specimen of a very pretty and rather novel style of painting.
69Children mocking ElishaVan OrtA most powerful representation of the effects of disrespect to old age.
70Coast Scene near DoverMorlandHere is nature,- and in her loveliest clothing. 'Tis a sunset, and such a sunset as poets love to gaze upon, and with which contemplation could feast its fantasies to overflowing.
71Landscape and Cattle (after Le Cave)BrownA most excellent copy. This artist is particularly happy in pencilling his foliage; that in this picture is most effectively touched.
73The Village Politicians (after Wilkie)J. M'ClellanThe original of this picture is so universally known and so enthusiastically admired by all who are capable of appreciating its beauties, that it were useless entering into any detail of its merits. The copy does Mr M'Clellan great credit, and induces us to repeat to him our advice contained in a former remark upon his picture of "The Poor Relations". [i.e. No. 32]
74View in CumberlandCapt. NesfieldA most admirable little drawing. The effect of the sky is very beautiful.
75water colour drawingJ. Gunson Esq.[with 67] There is also a delicious little water colour drawing, No. 75, by this Gentleman, which exhibits the complete power he possesses of giving the most beautiful effect with the utmost ease and freedom, and totally exempt from all affectation.
77FishE. BradleyWhat a triumph of art are those lobsters' claws! were it not that they are boiled we should really hesitate about committing our fingers between them: the prawns too, at the right hand corner, and the flat fish, are actually faultless.
79Dead Jay, &c.H.P. ParkerThe Jay is capital, and the composition of the whole picture excellent. Mr Parker is an artist who is fast approaching to the very highest eminence of his profession.
80A Lugger in chase by a Gun-brigJ. Gunson Esq.[with 54] a very superior performance.
84Fishing Boat going outIbbetsonA very fine picture: the sea and sky are particularly worthy of notice.
87Portrait of Henrietta MariaunknownHow astonishingly that little ringlet- that love-lock, which the softest zephyr's sigh would wave, is painted! it is altogether a very beautiful picture.
89Smacks working into the DownsJ.T. Dutton[with 47 and 112] "... do him credit"
100Garrick between Tragedy and Comedy (after Sir Joshua Reynolds)J. SuttonAn excellent portrait of Garrick, so at least we have been told by those who have seen him- we alas! had never that felicity. 'Tis easy to perceive which way he will be led; Comedy is evidently gaining the ascendancy; and who could resist the witchery of her smile- the humour which is lurking in her every feature?
101Landscape, a StormCapt. WilsonThis is a most capital effect of storm- every thing is effected by it, and in the whole is highly creditable to the artist.
102Eaton House, Cheshire, the seat of the Right Hon. Earl GrosvenorJ. FinlinsonA very pretty architectural drawing, exhibiting considerable taste and judgement in the execution.
112Princess Charlotte, Indiaman, going out of LiverpoolJ.T. Dutton[with 47 and 89] "... do him credit: the drawing of the latter is very correct."
114Landscape and CattleamateurThe sky and distance in this picture are both admirable: there are perhaps a few imperfections in the drawing of some of the cattle.
[The article in the 5 September issue actually ends with item 45.]

Cumberland Pacquet, 12 Sep 1826

We resume our remarks on the Exhibition this week, by noticing a few pictures which have been added to the collection since the catalogue was printed.
---Belisarius (after Vandyke)ReedWe are much inclined to doubt the fact of this picture having been painted by Reed, it is so much superior to any of the numerous works we have seen by him. It is a very fine painting, both in expression and execution: the compassionate look of the soldier on beholding the state to which his general has been reduced, and the beseeching look of the girl begging (changing into delight at sight of the money which the female she is addressing, is about to give her) are very fine. The head, hands, and indeed the whole figure of Belisarius, are also excellent
---The Death of General Wolf (after Benjamin West)G. SheffieldThe high finish of this picture is wonderful, and must have cost the artist many a day of unremitting labour. The faces (portraits, no doubt) of the various and numerous officers, and the native chief ion the foreground, are beautifully painted.
---Douglas BayR. Soloman [aka Robert Salmon][with next] Two spirited sketches, exhibiting a fine effect of light and shade.
---Douglas HeadR. Soloman [aka Robert Salmon][see last]
[Then follow the descriptions from item 46]

THE above Exhibition is now open at Mr. Kelty's Room, No. 9, Irish Street, Whitehaven, from Eight o'Clock in the Morning until Dusk, every Day, except Sundays, and will continue open till Saturday the 23d Instant, when it will finally close.
Mr. J.H. JOHNSON begs to inform the Public that he has resumed his Classes for Painting and Drawing, &c.
Terms may be known on Application to Mr. Johnson, either at the Exhibition Room, or at Mr. Rawlins's, Grocer, Market Place, Whitehaven.
His Evening School will commence on Monday the 18th Instant.

Carlisle Patriot, 16 Sep 1826
THE EXHIBITION [i.e. the Carlisle annual art exhibition]
The Exhibition of Paintings, &c. the work of British Artists, will open at the Academy in Finkle-street, on Monday next. We have already been favoured with a sight of a portion of the pictures; and we feel no hesitation in saying that the present year's exhibition greatly exceeds in talent and variety all that preceded it, distinguished as the second and third undoubtedly were.
The catalogue will contain about 300 pieces. ...

Cumberland Pacquet, 19 Sep 1826
The Exhibition of Paintings in this town will continue open during the present week only; and for the accommodation of such persons as cannot conveniently attend in the day time, the room will be lighted up at night.- See Advertisement.

SIR,- A visit to the Exhibition of Paintings, recently opened in Whitehaven, afforded me an equal share of rational entertainment and intellectual gratification. To contemplate the works of men of genius, illustrious for their powers of invention and superior excellency in design and finishing, most attract attention and enforce admiration. The flowing freedom of the outline, the general animation of their compositions, and the correspondent spirit in the execution of their works, contain such irresistible charms, as invariably to leave an indelible impression on the mind of the enthusiastic amateur of that beautiful art.
Two interesting pictures involuntarily drew my attention, and led me to examine their respective merits as possessing some intrinsic worth, surpassing the general qualities of others with which they were surrounded.
The lively interest these two speaking pictures produced may be better conceived than expressed. The Village Politicians (after Wilkie) and the Visit from the Poor Relations, by M'Clellan, exhibit so forcibly the expressive touches of the art in depicting the various passions and operations of the mind, as clearly evince, that the pencil in the hand of a master can delineate with fidelity the truth of nature. The senses corroborate the fact, that the human face has been wisely organised by the Creator to be the index of the mind. Exemplis gratia. The concomitants of luxury and affluence (pride and supercilious haghtiness) are admirably portrayed in the bloated visages of the wealthy pair, wrapped up in ease and selfish enjoyment, to whom poor relatives are paying neither a welcome nor cordial visit. The tear of sympathy moistens not their sleek and well-fed cheeks. Compassion towards fellow creatures allied by ties of consanguinity might diminish their self-importance, and are therefore determined to avoid the pain or bliss of feeling for another's woe. With all their affected pretensions to greatness, they wear but the trappings of splendid misery. Inhumanity and insensibility in these favourites of fortune rouse the indignation of the philanthropist, and he turns away from the revolting scene with abhorrence and disgust.
The village politicians have worked themselves up into a very torrent, tempest and whirlwind of passion, and all the angry and malignant feelings appear to be in full operation. What an overwhelming faction in their own conceit are these State Tinkers! In their own estimation, they, only, are the friends of the people. Wisdom is theirs exclusively, and must expire with them. Their proper avocations are neglected; a profuse waste of time, and licentious indulgence of intemperate habits are substituted for industry, economy, and prudent conduct; and their affairs are ruined by an incorrigible mania, the insatiable ambition for political disputes which they do not thoroughly understand.
One might imagine, that the painter has happily portrayed some frothy Journalist or croaking Chronicler, whose vapouring attitude and vehement utterance of calumny, scurility, and misrepresentation betray the incendiary and the despicable tool of fashion. The distorted features, resembling those of a malicious fiend, impress you with the conviction, that he is in the act of uttering a torrent of invective against the much-hated tories. His violent anger proves his incompetency for dispassionate argument, and he seems to writhe under the lash of his acute and cool antagonist, whose serenity of temper we cannot sufficiently admire.
Who it may have been that the original painter selected for the hero of the piece I cannot of course presume to divine; I cannot help thinking however but in his physiognomy I recognize the character of one of our neighbouring political oracles, who would so gladly impose on the unthinking his hollow pretensions for independence, his cavilling for superior sagacity, and his indiscriminate censure for constitutional argument.
Sept. 9th, 1826
A. Z.

Carlisle Patriot, 23 Sep 1826
The Whitehaven Exhibition of Paintings closes tomorrow. The collection was small; but, according to the Whitehaven Paper, many of the works possessed considerable merit. The Leeds Exhibition closes at the same time.

Cumberland Pacquet, 26 Sep 1826
The Exhibition of Paintings closed here on Saturday, and we are sorry to say, that its success has by no means been such as to warrant the expectation of its being again attempted in Whitehaven: our proverbial apathy in regard to such matters must still cling to us. We did hope that with such a stimulus, an impulse would have been given to our improvement, which a succession of such Exhibitions would have brought to maturity, but we have been deceived. We are enabled to state that the receipts will by no means meet the expenditure, independent of the time and trouble which has been lost to the projector. Mr. Johnson, for the purpose of giving an opportunity to those who were engaged during the day of seeing the Exhibition, for the last week lighted it up in the evenings, and, strange to say, not a single individual visited the Room! Our Theatre is on the eve of being opened, and with facts like these before us we cannot but sympathise with the manager, at the indifferent prospect he has of success in his career.

Carlisle Journal, 29 Sep 1826
... the Whitehaven Exhibition has, we are sorry to say, in one short season, terminated its career without a prospect of a revival. The receipts have been by no means equal to expenditure.

[I have checked 18th and 19th century catalogues of the paintings at Whitehaven Castle, none of which appear to have been supplied to the exhibition. I have not checked the other Lowther family residences elsewhere, which had much larger and more distinguished art collections.]

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