The digital critical catalogue
All paintings of Robert Hawthorn Kitson (1873-1947)
Taormina, April 2019
By Francesco Spadaro
Robert Hawthorn Kitson: a new date
After ten years of study and international research, our work has reached a new milestone with the beginning of the insertion of the general cards for the artist's catalog raisonné with the publication of all paintings of Robert Hawthorn Kitson, created and available for all. For the first time.
This is a vast project that has never before been undertaken. The overall corpus of some 1500 works by Robert Hawthorn Kitson can now be searched and displayed by theme, medium, technique, date, dimensions, signature and stamp. Numerous refined searches are available through cross-referencing of the selected parameters.
Major advantages of this digital critical catalogue include:
-the publication of a list of exhibitions (places, dates and titles) from 1895 to 1946
- a bibliography
- a search engine that is free and accessible to all;
- regular updating as new information is uncovered or becomes available.
While this digital catalogue needn’t detract from the prestige of a paper version, its flexibility and sophistication provide a new and original view into the life and work of the artist.
The chosen methodology
This catalogue takes into account earlier works and publications, from 1890 to 1946 (with classification by paintings and drawings), with, of course, exhibition catalogues.The corpus of paintings and drawings that we present will eventually include about 1500 works from public and private collections. Each work will be presented with a photograph, a fact sheet, its history, its exhibitions and its bibliography. For those works found in public collections, a link is given to the museum to which it belongs.
Thanks to David Boswell contribution to our understanding of Robert Hawthonr Kitson knowledge.
Why a digital catalogue?
We’ve chosen to publish this work digitally for a number of reasons:
The quantity of information about Kitson’s work is now
It has become necessary to publish a catalogue
Digital publication allows for efficient, quick and flexible searches for and distribution of information in ways not possible with paper publication;
Deletions, corrections and modifications can be carried out quickly and without disruption. For a critical catalogue that’s an essential mark of its vitality, relevance and the basis for its longevity;
Within the files of each work the door remains open to alternative suggestions and propositions regarding dates, a possibility that gives true meaning to the critical nature of the catalogue.
In the entries of works, the exhibitions and bibliographical elements are presented in shortened terms. Full informations are in the lists of exhibitions and bibliography.
Work (Date,Title, Size, Location, Inv. Number of location, Reference of catalogo, History ,Exhibitions, Bibliography
The numbers of Kitson’s watercolours in public and private collections
- works are on record in public collections. In UK holds the largest number of these works, followed by Italy and France, Switzerland, Germany and USA
-works are held in private collections.
- We are also cataloguing around 700 works that were located at Casa Cuseni, Museum of Grand Tour, in Taormina, Italy.
The choice of themes
A new classification: 3 themes represent the essential of Kitson’s painting and drawings work and photographies: watercolours, photographies, drawings. The search engine of the digital catalogue makes it possible to access all data in cross-referencing by theme, date, medium, dimensions, technique, signature and stamp.
The main techniques employed
- The majority of Kitson’s work is in watercolours, with 1000 works, i.e. 65%, created for the most part between 1900 and 1930.
The mediums used
We know that Kitson favored working on paper, which he found interesting for both technical reasons (speed of execution and of drying) ..
The related works will be online later.
What our datings confirm
From the digital critical catalogue it appears that Kitson was clearly most active between 1900 and 1930, with the creation of more than a thousand works, i.e. slightly more than 50% of the overall corpus studied.
We hope that our work will serve other researchers. At the same time, we will continue to enrich our files with information from account books of art galleries. Multiple aspects of Kitson’s work arise from this digital critical catalogue. We believe that our work, which has never before been undertaken and which marks a major step in the knowledge of the Kitson’s body of work and of his history, will become a main reference for this artist. The Kitson digital critical catalogue will therefore contribute to the advancement of our knowledge of an artist who profoundly marked the history of Taormina
To my family
We wish to thank the following for their valuable help and support:
We wish to thank all the museums that kindly waived their reproduction rights. I also wish to thank the librairies and research institutes who welcome and helped my project .
10 April 2019.
Francesco Spadaro. Presidente Fondazione Robert Hawthorn Kitson, Taormina. Italy.