Two Heritage Volunteer projects are running side by side: a ‘church recording style’ recording of the interior with photographs headed by Paul Tromans from The Arts Society Wolverhampton, the second to research Laurence Hodson, his collections and his associations, headed by Hilary Boucher also of TAS Wolverhampton.

As a prominent citizen of Wolverhampton, Hodson became a councillor and chaired the Fine Art Section at Wolverhampton Art Gallery of the ambitious 1902 Wolverhampton Industrial & Fine Art Exhibition loaning many exhibits to that exhibition. John Masefield, who later became Poet Laureate, was his secretary. Several of Strang’s preliminary drawings for the Eve cycle and a portrait of John Masefield are in the collection at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.


Portrait of John Masefield by William Strang RA 1909 Courtesy of Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Laurence Hodson sold up and left Wolverhampton in 1906. Compton Hall was sold by Nock and Joseland in Sept 1906 and many items from Hodson’s collections were sold over three separate 1906 sales at Christies. The next important sales from the Hodson collection were in 2013, of special interest were the four Phillip Webb watercolours of the hare, fox, raven and lion now at Wightwick Manor, and Hodson’s extraordinary collection of William Morris’ Kelmscott Press and other press books of that period attracting much interest at the time. These catalogues are proving to be a valuable source of information.
Of local interest is Hodson’s patronage of his lifelong Wolverhampton Grammar school friend, the artist Arthur Gaskin & his artist wife Georgie, subject of a recent TAS Wrekin Study Day by Dr Sally Hoban.
The completion of the project will see three Heritage boards on the walls of the Compton Care coffee shop in the Lodge to give information and interest about Compton Hall. Dr Sally Hoban is lending her expertise for the boards.
Carolyn Cundy
The Arts Society Wrekin

Help is needed in the archive research relating to the Laurence Hodson collection & Compton Hall: contemporary newspapers around the 1902 exhibition and 1906 sales, Wolverhampton photographic studios of the day for any archive photographs of the interior of the Hall and the Hodson family. If you are interested in helping please contact Carolyn Cundy.

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