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William John Caparne (1855-1940)

Site Information:

The concept of this website grew out of the meeting between the writer and the late Robin Fenner, in March 2004, when the latter kindly came to open an exhibition of Caparne's works at Guernsey Museum & Art Gallery. Robin's enthusiasm for Caparne was boundless. It swiftly inspired my own digital tendencies and the scheme to produce a website about Caparne followed almost automatically. The domain was duly registered and this public information site was hosted for some time by a philanthropic friend, who has my grateful thanks. Following a short period of down-time due to server problems in mid-2009, the site is now hosted commercially as a personal project.

Our aim was for the website to become a primary reference source of information relating to Caparne, his family, art, iris breeding and his cultural legacy. Many Caparne works passed through the hands of Robin Fenner, during the course of his career as an auctioneer. In the months before his death on 29th October 2004, Robin kindly made available for use on this site all the surviving photographs taken to illustrate his past auction catalogues and his two books on Caparne. The pleasurable (but inevitably spare-time) work of scanning and recording the details of these works is an on-going project, together with the task of turning them into a meaningful web-based catalogue. This will take some time to complete, so in the meantime please take the link (Art Collections, above) to an on-line catalogue of the Caparne works in Guernsey Museums & Galleries.  Though it only represents a small fraction of the known works by Caparne, the Guernsey Museum collection is probably the largest extant single body of work and offers a good overview of his output.

The current content of this site is only a small part of what is ultimately envisaged, so if you have any interest in the subject matter please revisit periodically. If you own a work or works by Caparne and would like to contribute images towards the development of a collaborative web-based catalogue raisonné then please use the contact form to get in touch. We will not, of course, reveal or share any details of owners unless expressly asked to do so.

Alan Howell

Last updated: 17-Oct-2009