Hortense Gordon: Sketchbooks features eleven Hortense (Mattice) Gordon sketchbooks. Intact sketchbooks, ranging from the early 1900s to 1960 will be displayed by means of a single open page. The exhibition will be enhanced by an interactive computer program that will allow users to scroll through images of every page in the sketchbooks. Some of the books contain finished, self conscious studies that are signed by the artist, while others include rapidly scribbled and nearly illegible sketches. Outside of an artist’s possession, intact sketchbooks are rare.
The Gordon sketchbooks are not normally loaned or made available for study due to their fragility. Hortense Gordon: Sketchbooks will provide gallery visitors the opportunity to see a selection of these unique works that are not often put on view. To allow further accessibility to these rare sketches, the Thames Art Gallery has digitally scanned each sketch and organized the digital files on a computer viewing station. This will allow gallery visitors to leaf through each sketchbook in virtual time, without exposing the fragile originals to damage.