The Schlee Collection: Drawings from Henry Moore to David Hockney at Mottisfont

A colourful bird drawing by Michael Rothenstein, on display as part of the Schlee Collection exhibition at Mottisfont, Hampshire

This event happened in 2016 and is now finished.

Over 50 drawings and sketches will be displayed, alongside works from Mottisfont’s own collection and drawings by contemporary artist David Breuer-Weil for his sculpture Alien, installed in the parkland here until the autumn.

David Breuer-Weil's immense Alien sculpture, now in the grounds at Mottisfont
An immense bronze sculpture of a figure plunging into the ground by artist David Breuer-Weil, on display at Mottisfont, Hampshire

The exhibition features works by major artists including Graham Sutherland, Peter Lanyon, Stanley Spencer and Gillian Ayres. Visitors will be able to enjoy portraits and landscapes, as well as observational drawings, abstract works and compositional sketches.

The art of drawing

Highlights include studies by Sutherland for his crucifixion paintings, where stark black lines and dense shading create Christ’s agonised form on the cross. In contrast, Stanley Spencer used delicate pencil outlines to represent stretcher-bearers during the First World War.

The show ranges from the energetic scribbles of Frank Auerbach, from which London landscapes take shape, to the exuberant colours of Gillian Ayre’s abstract work and Michael Rothenstein’s designs of birds.

A colourful sketch by Frank Auerbach
A colourful sketch by Frank Auerbach, on display as part of the Schlee Collection exhibition at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Showcasing art of the twentieth-century

This major private collection was put together by brothers Philip and Nick Schlee. Donated to Southampton City Art Gallery in 2013, it is one of the largest bodies of work ever to be given to the city. Mottisfont has collaborated with Southampton City Art Gallery’s Lead Curator Tim Craven to put together this new exhibition of highlights from the collection.

Mottisfont is also a permanent home to the Derek Hill Collection, an inspiring collection of art from the same period as the Schlee Collection, and including many of the same artists, a number of whose works are on show in this exhibition.

Amongst the pieces on view is a drawing by Barbara Hepworth, which will be displayed with borrowed Henry Moore drawings, the artist she learned most from and also influenced in her turn.

A detail from sketches by Henry Moore
Charcoal sketches by Henry Moore, part of the Schlee Collection exhibition at Mottisfont, Hampshire

There’ll be a spotter trail for children to explore the gallery and a linked ‘drawing’ trail for families to enjoy in May half term.

For anyone unable to access the upstairs gallery, we have digital versions of exhibitions on iPads which are available on lower levels.