September 2019

Royal Collectors: Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their Art

Welcome to The Arts Society North Bucks
Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 11:00
Lovat Hall
Silver Street Newport Pagnell MK16 0EJ

This lecture tells the story of these two royal patrons who were every bit as passionate about art as they were about each other.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert expressed their love for each other through art. Every birthday and Christmas they exchanged gifts of paintings, sculpture and jewellery, and they commissioned artists to record their lives together at Balmoral and Osborne House. They were keen amateur artists, sitting side-by-side to draw and to try their hand at etching. And they took pleasure in arranging their collection of portrait miniatures, drawings and prints in a special room the prince designed at Windsor Castle.

We will look not only at glamorous paintings by Landseer and Winterhalter, but also at the lesser-known watercolours the couple took pleasure in arranging in their treasured ‘souvenir albums’. 


Dr Susan Owens

Dr Susan Owens is an art historian, writer and curator. She studied English literature at Oxford University and European art at the Courtauld Institute, then wrote a doctoral thesis on Aubrey Beardsley’s illustrations to Oscar Wilde’s play Salome at University College London.

She was a curator at the Royal Collection before becoming Curator of Paintings at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Susan has curated many displays and exhibitions and written or co-authored books on natural history illustrations, watercolours, drawings and self-portraits. She is a regular contributor to publications including the Times Literary Supplement, Apollo, the Literary Review and The World of Interiors.

Now freelance, Susan lives in Suffolk. Her recent books include The Ghost: A Cultural History (2017) and Christina Rossetti: Poetry in Art (2018). Spirit of Place: Artists, Writers and the British Landscape (Thames & Hudson) came out in 2020; it was shortlisted for the Apollo Book of the Year Award and is a Times art book of the year.