The Fry Art Gallery in Saffron Walden, Essex, has undergone a major refurbishment and reopens with one of its first shows supported Sworders.
6 May 2022
A fundraising total of £573,000 has paid for the major refurbishment works to create a new exhibition space, office, art store, kitchen and accessible entrance and facilities, enabling the gallery to extend its opening hours to the public.
The Saffron Walden Gallery, which was founded in 1987, reopens on May 8 with two exhibitions.
Sworders is sponsoring a show created to demonstrate the breadth and depth of the gallery’s collection over its 35 years. Containing more than 3000 items, it celebrates the particular strength of the Great Bardfield artists Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, William Rothenstein and John Aldridge, and extends to Keith Vaughan and Michael Ayrton among others.
Much of the collection has been acquired with the support of the artists and their families and estates and art trust funds.
Among the pictures featured in the new exhibition is this Eric Ravilious watercolour called Two Women Sitting in a Garden. It was purchased with assistance from National Heritage Memorial Fund and the V&A Purchase Fund.
The other exhibition, sponsored by Shirley Parish in memory of Dorothy Staples and supported by the Weston Loan Programme with Art Fund, focuses on the avant-garde female artist Isabel Rawsthorne (1912-92).
Rawsthorne changed her surname with each of her three marriages and became known as a muse of 20th century artists including Jacob Epstein, Pablo Picasso, André Derain, Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon rather than as an artist in her own right.
The exhibition includes 13 costume designs for the 1953 Royal Opera House production of Strauss’s opera Elektra, Giacometti’s sculpture of Rawsthorne (Head of Isabel II and loaned by the Sainsbury Centre) and two Rawsthorne still-lifes (loaned by the Sainsbury Centre and restored courtesy of the Garfield Weston grant).
The show will also feature a selection of Rawsthorne’s portraits and still-lifes given to the Fry Art gallery by the artist’s family.
Sworders have a strong track record selling the works of the Great Bardfield community of artists. This diverse group of mid 20th century painters experienced the rural idyll from the north west Essex village just 15 miles from the auction rooms.
We are currently welcoming entries for our next specialist sale of Modern & Contemporary Art to be held on Tuesday 4 October. To discuss a consignment, please contact -
firstname.lastname@example.org | 01279 817778
Entries close Friday 19 August
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