Unveiling Literary Treasures: D H Lawrence Portrait Finds Home in Nottingham City Museums

Unveiling Literary Treasures: D H Lawrence Portrait Finds Home in Nottingham City Museums

Photograph of a portrait in a museum setting
The portrait was painted by the Dutch artist Joep Nicolas in 1929. Photo: Nottingham City Council

National Lottery Grants for Heritage – £10,000 to £250,000

Newstead Abbey
Nottingham City Museums
The acquisition of a portrait of writer D H Lawrence celebrates Nottingham’s UNESCO City of Literature and opens up new avenues for engaging with diverse communities.

Nottingham became a UNESCO City of Literature in 2015 because of its globally renowned literary heritage, vibrant contemporary writing scene and ambition to build better futures with words. D H Lawrence, a local writer known all over the world, has a special place in Nottingham's literary landscape.

It is a celebration of Nottingham's rebellious literary history.

Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis

The painting of D H Lawrence is on display at Newstead Abbey, making its debut appearance in the UK after spending its life overseas. The purchase of the painting was partly funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Photograph of a red brick building
D H Lawrence Birthplace Museum


The portrait presents an exciting opportunity to explore social, cultural, and literary history, as well as the impact of radical thinkers on society. Nottingham City Museums explored these themes through a dynamic, five-month programme of events and activities and the creation of a range of digital resources.

These events took place at Newstead Abbey and Nottingham City Library, forging strong links between the sites and communities while reaching under-represented audiences. Drawing on Lawrence's love for nature and environmental objectives, many of these activities provided a deeper appreciation for the natural world and the importance of environmental conservation.

Beyond the acquisition itself, the project has paved the way for exciting partnerships between Nottingham sites, including the University of Nottingham, Nottingham City Library and the D H Lawrence Birthplace Museum.

Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis said: "It is fundamental to Nottinghamshire's cultural importance and we believe it will mean a great deal to many people. It is also a celebration of Nottingham's rebellious literary history."

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