Tate and the Museum of the Home have taken joint ownership of a landmark painting by Rebecca Solomon.
‘A Young Teacher’, painted in 1861, has been acquired by the two organisations and will be held equally by both institutions.
The painting’s first display since its acquisition will be in Tate Britain’s new Pre-Raphaelite gallery from the end of June 2023.
Hung alongside works by Solomon’s male counterparts, including her brother Simeon, Tate said its inclusion “offers visitors the chance to experience a fresh perspective on this ground-breaking art movement”.
In autumn 2024 it will move to the Museum of the Home, after which it will be available to both institutions as well as to museums and galleries across the UK as part of the national collection.
The shared and total costs of the acquisition were not disclosed. Last year, as the government placed an export bar on the painting, it said the work was worth £314,880.
The woman at the centre of the image was modelled by Jamaican-born Fanny Eaton, who became the subject of many Victorian artists and featured in some of the most iconic paintings of the Pre-Raphaelite period. Several examples of these are currently on display in Tate Britain’s exhibition The Rossettis until 24 September 2023.
Polly Staple, Director of Collection, British Art, Tate, said Tate has been actively increasing the representation of women artists in the national collection and is “thrilled to be acquiring this wonderful painting by an important figure in the Pre-Raphaelite era.
“Bringing Rebecca Solomon’s A Young Teacher into public ownership will allow Tate, Museum of the Home, and other museums and galleries around the country to better represent the incredible range of talent found in British art history.”
Sonia Solicari, Director at Museum of the Home, said the work “underpins the redevelopment of our world-famous period rooms. Not only do we now hold three of Solomon’s paintings, we’re also bringing to light the neglected history of the South Asian Ayah into our 1870s period room alongside that of Fanny Eaton, the painter’s model who lived for a while in Shoreditch.”
Art Fund has supported the shared acquisition by Tate and Museum of the Home. Its Director, Jenny Waldman, said Solomon’s A Young Teacher “is important for many reasons; not just because Solomon was a remarkable pre-Raphaelite painter overlooked in the art historical canon for being female and Jewish, but also for her sensitive depiction of the Jamaican-born Fanny Eaton when people of colour were rarely the subject of Victorian painting.”
Earlier this year, The National Portrait Gallery announced a partnership with LA’s Getty Museum to jointly acquire Portrait of Omai, a £50m oil painting acquired after an extended export bar.