J.A. Betts and the Study of Drawing at The University of Reading

This project investigated the life and career of the late art professor, James Anthony Betts (1897-1980), who was a contemporary of the renowned artists, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, in aid of an exhibition at Reading Museum in 2020. The project involved: - Finding out where Betts acquired his extensive collection of drawings from (the collection contained drawings by artists including Walter Sickert, James Whistler, and Peter Paul Rubens). -Accessing and interpreting an array of resources including sound recordings, journals, newspapers, exhibition brochures, photographs & original artworks. -Visiting external institutions such as The British Library, The Courtauld Institute Library, and The National Art Library (pictured) to access and handle archive material. -Engaging with past alumni of the University & conducting interviews in order to gather memories and recollections of Betts as a lecturer. -Compiling an extensive number of sources in the form of a physical dossier, digital documents, and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. -Writing an extensive biography and chronology of Professor Betts' life

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Gracie Maddison
English Literature graduate