* 2019 HOURS: May 1st - October 31st - Wednesday - Sunday - 10AM - 1PM, 3PM- 6PM. OR by appointment only *
For many regular visitors to Stratford, a visit to the home and studio of Gerard Brender à Brandis is a tradition. It means a chance to see one of the most picturesque houses in the city and to see the current work of an artist who has been engraving small and intensely detailed wood blocks for over fifty years. Individual framed and unframed prints from his blocks are displayed in the parlour, while work in progress can be seen in the studio.
The main focus this year will be on botanical subjects, some presented in black and white, some others being tinted with water colour. Native plants, familiar garden flowers and some exotics including orchids have been the inspiration. As usual, some of the flowers mentioned by Shakespeare will be on display, but there will also be historic buildings (some of local interest), musical instruments and landscapes.
Books are always part of this artist's offering, some being printed in the 1865 Albion press and then bound in the studio, others having been commercially produced with reproductions of the artist's engravings. Occasionally he has also written the text, but more often he has collaborated with other writers, most notably with his sister Marianne Brandis whose works are also for sale. There is a small selection of hasti-notes showing the artists drawings and water colours.
Gerard's art featuring orchids will be exhibited in Toronto at the annual orchid show held by the Southern Ontario Orchid Society at Edwards Gardens on February 9th and 10th. The next edition of handmade books to be produced in the studio will also focus on orchids, but it is unlikely that any copies will be completed this year. Anyone particularly interested in this subject should contact that artist as the edition will be very small.
Located less than a block from the Avon/Studio Theatre, Gerard's house is so small that groups of more than eight people are requested to make an arrangement for their visit ahead of time. There is no parking available at the house itself but there is usually some space along Brunswick Street. Visa, Mastercard and Interac are accepted. The entrance is not wheelchair accessible.