Category Archives: John Ruskin 200

Ruskin – A Famous Herne Hill Victorian, Powerfully Relevant Today

John Ruskin, without doubt Herne Hill’s most famous resident, was born 200 years ago and this year has witnessed events, exhibitions, talks and books to celebrate and reassess his life and his actions, as probably the most globally-known and influential public intellectual of the Victorian era.

He was not just an art critic and champion of Turner: his powerful criticisms of many of the damaging consequences of rapid industrialisation, abandonment of tradition, neglect of the natural environment, and inhuman living conditions heralded social changes in the 19th century, and remain relevant in the 21st.

Ruskin Self Portrait, 1875

He lived in Herne Hill from his earliest years. The leafy garden of his parents’ house on Herne Hill, just a few hundred yards up the slope from Fawnbrake Avenue,  made a huge impact on his awareness and love of nature. He kept a house here as his London base and visited frequently after he had retired to the Lake District. (The Ruskins’ houses, though, are long gone.)

On Wednesday 12 June, Jon Newman, author and Lambeth archivist, will give a lecture looking at why Ruskin is still relevant today.

This important event, which is this year’s Thomas Lynn Bristowe Memorial Lecture, is hosted by the Herne Hill Society and Brockwell Park Community Partners.  It will be in the Herne Hill Baptist Church on Half Moon Lane at 7:45 PM on Wednesday 12 June – everyone welcome, free of charge.

The King of the Golden River – a new Ruskin musical at St Saviour’s?

In this bi-centenary year of Herne Hill resident John Ruskin, the Herne Hill Music Festival is hoping to include a musical based on Ruskin’s only children’s story in its programme.

John Ruskin

Professional composer Paul Ayres plans to turn The King of the Golden River by Ruskin (recently republished by Thames & Hudson with wonderful illustrations by Quentin Blake) into a musical to be performed by St Saviour’s Primary School.

The King of the Golden River, republished March 2019

However, they need, quite rightly,  to pay a fee to the composer, and there are other costs of production as well.

The Festival organisers have already had generous support from the Herne Hill Society and  other business sponsors, but they are still short of £350.

 

So there’s a fund-raising campaign

If you can help celebrate John Ruskin and give the young performers from St Saviour’s the unforgettable experience of taking part in a musical, have a look at the fund-raising page and perhaps consider making a donation.