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John Thomas: The Japanese Portfolio of a Victorian Decorator

Slideshow Shim


John Thomas: The Japanese Portfolio of a Victorian Decorator

18 May – 12 September 2021

Print Room

John Thomas (c. 1826-c. 1901) was the principal decorator of East Cliff Hall (now the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum). His work can be seen on ceilings, walls, covings, and even stained-glass throughout the building.

In 1861, he published a portfolio of Japanese-inspired prints, predominately of nature scenes. Based on woodblock prints by Japanese artists, many of the images were to form the inspiration behind the decorations in East Cliff Hall.

To celebrate the 160th anniversary of the portfolio’s publication, a selection of sketches from Merton Russell-Cotes’ personal copy will be displayed.

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Access Information
This display is in the Print Room on the upper floor of the historic house. Please note that this room is only accessible via the main staircase. A booklet about the exhibition is available to visitors unable to visit the exhibition. Ask a member of staff during your visit or download a copy  John Thomas The Sketches of a Victorian Decorator

Large Print labels available


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18th May 21 - 12th September 21

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Additional Information

Admission to the exhibition is included in the general admission ticket.