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Bucks Art Weeks

The Scout Hut Artists at Milton’s Cottage

12 – 30 June 2024

For Bucks Art Weeks The Scout Hut Artists – a local art group who meet weekly in Chalfont St Peter – have created new work in response to Milton’s life, times and writing as well as our museum, collection and garden.

Collectively, they offer a way to navigate one of the greatest 17th century writers for contemporary audiences.

https://www.facebook.com/scouthutart/?locale=en_GB

Image above: Angels by Simon Brewster

A Conversation with Paradise Regain’d & Samson Agonistes

A solo exhibition by Richard Kenton Webb at Milton’s Cottage

3 July – 8 September 2024

As we approach the 350th anniversary of Milton’s death, Milton’s Cottage is pleased to announce an exhibition of drawings by Richard Kenton Webb.

Seen in public for the first time, A Conversation with Paradise Regain’d and Samson Agonistes is displayed throughout the historic rooms of Milton’s only surviving residence.  Shown alongside a 1st edition of Milton’s final poems, published together in 1671, they speak to the place where he completed his epic masterpiece, Paradise Lost, and was inspired to write Paradise Regain’d.  

In both Paradise Regain’d and Samson Agonistes Milton reflects on the Restoration of the Monarchy and the loss of the English republic, for which he had put aside his first love, poetry, to serve as Cromwell’s spin doctor.  Milton’s rich verses, his vision of spirituality, and the forces of good and evil provide a framework for Webb’s own visual meditations into the act of creation.

Like Milton’s final poems, which continually reference and comment on each other as well as on their epic predecessor, Paradise Lost, this exhibition forms a set with Webb’s earlier works.  In 2021 he completed his 10 year project A Conversation with Milton’s Paradise Lost – 128 drawings, 40 paintings and 12 relief prints.  This led to a commission of 12 drawings in response to Milton’s pastoral elegy, Lycidas, for the Milton Society of America, and a chapter in Milton Across Borders and Media, published by Oxford University Press.

Responding to Milton’s universal themes of creation, destruction, temptation, love and loss, Webb’s drawings offer a way to navigate Milton’s poetry for contemporary audiences.  They continue the museum’s practice of displaying contemporary art alongside its permanent collection to engage audiences with Milton’s legacy in new ways. 

Image above: The Blind Poet by Richard Kenton Webb