Wood, Christopher 1941-
Wood, Christopher 1941-
Born October 31, 1941, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England; son of Christopher Russell (a businessman) and Muriel Wynne Wood; married Sarah Drummond (a journalist), March 31, 1967; children: Alexander, Laura, Henry. Education: St. John's College, Cambridge, M.A., 1963.
Office—Christopher Wood Gallery, 10 St. James's Pl., London SW1A 1NP England. Agent—Curtis Brown Ltd., 162-8 Regent St., London W1R 5TA, England. E-mail—[email protected]
Art dealer and writer. Christie's (auctioneers), London, England, director, 1969-76; Christopher Wood Gallery, London, managing director, 1977—; Mallett & Co., director, 1988. Military service: British Army, Northumberland Hussars, 1961-66; became second lieutenant.
British Antique Dealers Association, Society of London Art Dealers, Royal Society of Arts, Victorian Society, Brooks' Club.
The Dictionary of Victorian Painters, Antique Collectors' Club (Woodbridge, Suffolk, England), 1971, 2nd edition, 1978.
(Author of introduction) One Hundred Masterpieces in Colour, Hamlyn (England), 1972.
Victorian Panorama: Paintings of Victorian Life, Faber (London, England), 1976.
(Author of preface) English Nineteenth Century Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings: Spring 1978, Shepherd Gallery Associates, 1978.
The Pre-Raphaelites, Viking (New York, NY), 1981.
Olympian Dreamers: Victorian Classical Painters, 1860-1914, Constable (London, England), 1983.
Tissot: The Life and Work of Jacques Joseph Tissot, 1836-1902, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1986.
Paradise Lost: Paintings of English Country Life and Landscape, 1850-1914, Barrie and Jenkins (London, England), 1988, Trafalgar Square Pub North (Pomfret, VT), 1989.
(With Penelope Hobhouse) Painted Gardens: English Watercolours, 1850-1914, Athenaeum (New York, NY), 1988.
Victorian Painting in Oils and Watercolours, Antique Collectors' Club (Woodbridge, Suffolk, England), 1996.
The Great Art Boom, 1970-1997, edited by Duncan Hislop and Sharron Clarke, Art Sales Index (Weybridge, Surrey, England), 1997.
Burne-Jones: The Life and Works of Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898), Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1998.
Victorian Painting, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1999.
Fairies in Victorian Art, Antique Collectors' Club (Woodbridge, Suffolk, England), 2000.
William Powell Frith: A Painter and His World, Sutton Publishing (England), 2006.
Also author of Victorian Painters: A Dictionary of British Art, Volumes 1 and 2, both 1995. Contributor to art magazines, including Connoisseur and Nineteenth Century. Also contributor to the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) Antiques Roadshow, and wrote and presented the television series Painters to the People.
Christopher Wood has dedicated forty years of his life to the art world. Since 1977, he has been the owner of the Christopher Wood Gallery in London, England. His specialties, Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian paintings, have been the subject of many of his books, including his first, The Dictionary of Victorian Painters, which was published in 1971. The second edition, which came out in 1978, contains entries on eleven thousand artists and features nearly five hundred illustrations. In Victorian Panorama: Paintings of Victorian Life, the author looks at how the era's mores and national image were imposed upon the work of its painters.
Burne-Jones: The Life and Works of Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898), published in 1998, provides insight on Sir Edward Burne-Jones, a second-generation Pre-Raphaelite artist and proponent of the aesthetic movement—a late-nineteenth-century movement that regarded art as something that should exist for its own sake and serve no useful purpose. In the book, Wood presents a "sometimes cursory but fervent portrait of the artist," according to a Publishers Weekly critic.
Published in 1999, Victorian Painting explores English Victorian painting within the social context of the time period. Library Journal reviewer Sandra Rothenberg considered Wood's book "a strong offering on the subject." In his next book, 2000's Fairies in Victorian Art, Wood traces the origins of fairies in art, literature, and theater in Victorian culture. Library Journal contributor Martin Chasin, who touted Wood as a "skilled and prolific writer on Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian art," maintained that "throughout [the book], the prose is clear, to the point, and informative."
William Powell Frith: A Painter and His World, released in 2006, takes a look at the often overlooked Victorian painter William Powell Frith, who was famous for crowd scenes that depicted the many layers of the Victorian class system. Booklist contributor Kevin Nance called the book an "amiably chatty portrait" of the painter.
Wood once told CA: "My career as an art dealer does not allow much time for writing, but I am concerned to see more and better research done into nineteenth-century art. I hope to devote more time to writing later on."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2007, Kevin Nance, review of William Powell Frith: A Painter and His World, p. 14.
Christian Century, December 16, 1981, review of The Pre-Raphaelites, p. 1319.
Contemporary Review, September, 1996, review of Tissot: The Life and Work of Jacques Joseph Tissot, 1836-1902, p. 167.
Cosmopolitan, December, 1981, Jane Clapperton, review of The Pre-Raphaelites, p. 22.
Library Journal, May 15, 1980, William Katz, review of The Dictionary of Victorian Painters, p. 1147; December 1, 1981, review of The Pre-Raphaelites, p. 2305; June 15, 2000, Sandra Rothenberg, review of Victorian Painting, p. 78; March 15, 2001, Martin Chasin, review of Fairies in Victorian Art, p. 81.
Magazine Antiques, March, 1982, Malcolm Cormack, review of The Pre-Raphaelites, p. 724.
National Review, December 11, 1981, Ruth Berenson, review of The Pre-Raphaelites, p. 1495.
New Republic, December 23, 1981, John Canaday, review of The Pre-Raphaelites, p. 27.
Publishers Weekly, October 16, 1981, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of The Pre-Raphaelites, p. 64; September 12, 1986, review of Tissot, p. 74; July 13, 1998, review of Burne-Jones: The Life and Works of Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898), p. 72.
Times Educational Supplement, April 27, 1990, review of Victorian Panorama: Paintings of Victorian Life, p. 37.
Times Literary Supplement, November 7, 1997, review of The Great Art Boom, 1970-1997, p. 16; January 5, 2007, Lindsay Duguid, review of William Powell Frith, p. 17.
Christopher Wood Home Page,http://www.christopherwoodgallery.com (November 16, 2007).