Milkmaids in St. James’s Park, Westminster Abbey Beyond, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund

Exhibitions and Lectures


Evaporations: Milkmaids in
St James’s Park No More

Dr Lars Kokkonen,
Assistant Curator of Paintings
and Sculpture, Yale Center for British Art

14 November at 6.30pm

Tickets £10.00 per person
(plus £1 booking fee)

Evaporations: Milkmaids in St James’s Park No More
Lecture by Dr Lars Kokkonen

14 November, 6.30pm followed by drinks in the State Rooms, Spencer House

The third in a series of lectures to coincide with the Benjamin West exhibition at Spencer House will be held on 14 November 2016.  This lecture will be given by Lars Kokkonen: Assistant Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale Center for British Art. ‘Evaporations: Milkmaids in St. James’s Park No More’.

Benjamin West’s ‘Milkmaids in St James’s Park, Westminster Abbey Beyond’ has been described as an unusual pastoral landscape by the artist showcasing his versatility. Lars Kokkonen’s lecture will situate the painting within the context of West’s oeuvre and examine particularly the artist’s life and work at the time of its creation. It also will consider the ultimate fate of the St James’s Park “Milk Fair” in light of West’s depiction of everyday life in early nineteenth-century London.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the restoration of the State Rooms at Spencer House, Benjamin West’s ‘Milkmaids in St James’s Park, Westminster Abbey Beyond’ (ca. 1801, oil on panel, Paul Mellon Fund), is on special loan from the Yale Center for British Art.  

The exhibition unites Yale’s recent acquisition with three large history paintings by West, commissioned by George III, on loan to Spencer House from Royal Collection Trust. Displayed in the Dining Room is West’s famous ‘Death of Wolfe’ (1771) and its Renaissance and classical parallels ‘The Death of Chevalier Bayard’ (1772) and ‘The Death of Epaminondas’ (1773). In addition visitors will be able to see two further West paintings from The Royal Collection, shown in Lady Spencer’s Room, ‘The Family of the King of Armenia before Cyrus’ (1773) and ‘The Wife of Arminius Brought Captive to Germanicus’ (1773).

Note for Editors
Built for the 1st Earl Spencer by John Vardy (1718-1765) and James ‘Athenian’ Stuart (1713-1788) from 1756, Spencer House took ten years to complete. The restoration of the State Rooms at Spencer House were undertaken by RIT Capital Partners Plc under the chairmanship of Lord Rothschild.
The House was re-opened to the public in 1991. The collection is managed by The Rothschild Foundation.