Keeper of the Flame: John Howard Whitehouse (1873-1955)
Founders and first secretary of the Ruskin Society of Birmingham, J.H. Whitehouse went on to become the leading figure in maintaining Ruskin’s memory, arranging a national memorial (Ruskin Hall, at Bournville, Birmingham) and a centenary conference in 1919. Secretary of Toynbee Hall, and a Liberal M.P. from 1910 to 1919, he campaigned for educational reform, and founded Bembridge School on the Isle of Wight, based on Ruskinian and creative principles. His wide circle of contacts included writers such as George Bernard Shaw and John Masefield, and the polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen.
In 1932 he bought Brantwood, Ruskin’s last home at Coniston, opening it to the public and starting a Ruskin Society. The huge collection which he amassed of Ruskin’s books, manuscripts, drawings and photographs forms the core of what is now held in the Ruskin Library. Fifty years after his death, this commemorative exhibition covers his career as an author and educationalist as well as his lifelong involvement with the interpretation and promotion of Ruskin’s work.
The Exhibition runs from 30 April - 2 October 2005. Opening Times - Gallery - Monday to Saturday, 11:00 - 16:00, Sunday 13:00 - 16:00
Reading Room - Monday - Friday between 10:00 and 4:30, by appointment only.