Exhibition puts arts patron Sir Osbert back in the frame

Renishaw Hall & Gardens announces new exhibition of Osbert Sitwell's literary legacy - marking 50th years since the writer's death. Picture: Chris Etchells
Renishaw Hall & Gardens announces new exhibition of Osbert Sitwell's literary legacy - marking 50th years since the writer's death. Picture: Chris Etchells
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He was one of a trio of artists and arts patrons described unkindly by Noel Coward as “two wiseacres and a cow”, but nearly a century on, his legacy is deemed worthy of an exhibition in its own right.

Sir Osbert Sitwell, whose family seat was at Renishaw Hall, near Sheffield, was the least known of three siblings who at one stage commissioned Picasso, and in the years following the First World War attempted to introduce Britain to the modernist art movement emerging from Europe.

A museum at the hall is dedicated to the Sitwells – Dame Edith, Sir Sacheverell and Sir Osbert – and in a display that marks the 50th anniversary of his death, is placing the middle of the three centre stage.

“Osbert is perhaps less well known than his older sister, Dame Edith, and yet produced many acclaimed poems, books and writings during the 20th century, as well as being a patron of many rising stars of the artistic world,” said archivist Christine Beevers.

Alexandra Sitwell, the hall’s current owner and Sir Osbert’s great-niece, said the exhibition was a “fitting tribute” to her ancestor’s influence and his passion for the arts.