Online Exhibition - Three Graces: Victorian Women, Visual Art and Exchange (2014)

History of Art Research Portal, University of York

The online exhibition Three Graces: Victorian Women, Visual Art and Exchange was launched on the History of Art Research Portal in February 2014.  It was curated by Dr Katie Tyreman (University of York) and emerged from AHRC Cultural Engagement Fellowship undertaken by Dr Tyreman at the Victoria & Albert Museum for the Department of History of Art and the Humanities Research Centre (University of York) from February to May 2013.

The exhibition introduced the lives and works of three Victorian women artists Aglaia (née Ionides) Coronio (1834-1906), Maria (née Cassavetti) Zambaco (1843-1914) and Marie (née Spartali) Stillman (1843-1927): these were women artists who lived and worked within a vortex of artists associated with the Holland Park Circle and prominent Greek family the Ionides.

In their paradigmatic cases, these Victorian women artists' works variously developed, critiqued and enabled that of their male predecessors and contemporaries - Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Maddox Brown, Alphonse Legros, William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti - and vice versa.  The Three Graces offers spectators a rare opportunity to engage in detail with these Victorian women artists’ paintings, sculptures, textiles and costume designs together with and in relation to works by their male counterparts.

In order to create a digital space for the Three Graces online exhibition, a virtual exhibition room had to be designed in cyberspace to house the show. In the spirit of the collaboration between the University of York and Victoria & Albert Museum an exhibition space within the V&A (Room 20a on the ground floor, which has now been subsumed into the Exhibition Road building project) was chosen as a template for the virtual exhibition room and the chosen works of art have been digitally imposed onto its walls. The location of the space within the V&A is signalled in the online show by the vistas out to the John Madejski Garden.

Before the official launch of the exhibition on line, it had an innovative preview during the York Festival of Ideas in the 3Sixty Space at the Ron Cooke Hub, University of York, on Saturday 29 June 2013.  In this exciting development, the four walls of the virtual exhibition were projected life-size into the 3Sixty Space for visitors to walk through, ‘thus liberating the show from cyberspace and transporting the V&A space that it is imagined to inhabit’.

3 Graces exhibtion: Department of History of Art, University of York

Opening page of the Three Graces exhibition on the Department of History of Art Research Portal (University of York)



Main image: View of the Three Graces exhibition in its online virtual space:

View all our collaborations