Hospitalfield’s collections reflect the 19th and 20th century history; from the vision of artist Patrick Allan Fraser and then through the years of the ‘art college’. Our current policy is to acquire new works from our commissions programme.
Recently we have acquired several artworks by artists who have been involved in our programme including Zoë Paul, Graham Fagen and Alastair MacLennan you can read more about these acquisitions here…
Images: Zoe Paul Ceramic Plates, Graham Fagan Drawing, Alistair MacLennan Drawings.
Historic Painting Collection
The painting collection at Hospitalfield is predominantly oil paintings collected and commissioned by Patrick Allan-Fraser during the second half of the 19th Century from his peer group of artists.This group were referred to as The Clique and met at the Royal Academy Schools in London. The painting collection also includes works painted by Allan-Fraser showing european scenes and copies of masterpieces, which Patrick-Allan encountered during his travels, including of Titian’s Flora. There is also a series of small works showing local places. This ‘Arbroath’ series was mainly produced by promise of a commission for an edition of Sir Walter Scott’s The Antiquary.
You can browse all of the oil paintings in Hospitalfield’s collection on the ArtUK website
Images: paintings by Patrick Allan Fraser from Hospitalfield’s collection, including of a sleeping maid, a character from the Antiquary and Elizabeth Allan Fraser reading in the dining room.
There is an important collection of letters and papers that give valuable background to the history of the house, the estate and the collections.
Of particular interest are the letters to Patrick Allan-Fraser from the artists that he commissioned works from for his collection. This part of the archive gives an invaluable background to the relationships that Allan-Fraser had with his artist friends. There is also a series of letters between Allan-Fraser and Charles Dickens and his associates as they discuss their efforts to provide for artists and writers of the future. Other valuable records include details of the day to day running of and the maintenance of the estate.
There is little information within the Trust’s own records of the 20th century however the Hospitalfield Alumni Association have recently invested funds in to a PhD position, supervised by the University of Aberdeen, that will start building the appropriate research culture around this aspect of Hospitalfield’s history and the impact of the ‘college’ on 20th century Scottish art.
It is the aim of the Trust to make this material available in a form that can be productively shared and enable the reading of Hospitalfield’s significant creative, cultural and social history over several centuries; significant for Angus and more broadly for Scotland. For more information on plan see Future Plan.
Images: Letter from Charles Dickens to Patrick Allan Fraser, Archive materials.
In the mid 19th century Patrick Allan Fraser established a small library within the house.
We are not quite sure of its location but we think that it was a small space, perhaps more of a store than what we think of conventionally as a library. The collection of books eventually found their way in to shelves and store rooms across the house until the late 1980s when Dr Willie Payne (Director of Hospitalfield 1975 – 2012) selected a room on the upper floor overlooking the walled garden and brought all the books in the house together in this one place.
The collection includes a small number of 18th century books that originate from the English Parrott family but the majority of the collection belonged to Patrick and Elizabeth Allan-Fraser. They include books on Scottish history, architecture and landscape. Art periodicals and collections of prints bound in to books that would have been used to learn about or as reference books for making art. The subjects include for example, classical architecture, sculpture and painting.
We are building up a 21st Century library for the house, through recommendations from the artists in residence who have spent time here during recent years.