Friday, 15 February 2013

Edward Bawden, The English Pub
(1st class lounge SS Oransay)

Mary Adshead, An English Holiday - The Puncture
(For Lord Beaverbrook's dining room, 1928)
Charles Mahoney, The Garden, 1950
John Armstrong, Design for Telecinema mural, Festival of Britain 
This exhibition British Murals and Decorative Painting 1910-1970 caught my eye today and I must try to go next time I'm in town. Mary Adshead was commissioned to paint 11 large murals on a holiday theme for Lord Beaverbrook's home at Newmarket and based them on the activities of his friends around the racecourse. The woman sitting helplessly beside the car in The Puncture (thought to have been destroyed) was Lady Louis Mountbatten. Others included Arnold Bennett playing a harmonium and Winston Churchill riding an elephant. But given his quarrelsome nature, Beaverbrook decided that should he fall out with his friends, it wouldn't be good for his digestion to be faced with them at every mealtime. And so the artist was paid a kill fee and the panels were returned.
Mary Adshead collaborated on a mural with Rex Whistler, even before the Tate restaurant mural that made his name. (Rachel and Simon, if you're reading this ...  did you know about the link with Edith Olivier? Any excuse for tea and scones and a literary pilgrimage!)

8 comments:

Sue said...

Sounds like a fabulous exhibition Mary. Was there any Ravilious there?

Sue said...

I must read more carefully, you haven't been yet. Off to look at the online exhibition.

mary said...

I don't recall any mention of Ravilious, Sue. I suppose so little survives. You'd think murals would be permanent fixtures - but they're not. I'll report back when I've been!

Donna said...

Love the look of these. I like Charles Mahoney and Evelyn Dunbar's work very much as well. And tea and scones at the Tate with the lovely Rachel and Simon sounds fab idea. Enjoy!

Cosy Books said...

Thanks so much for pointing the way to such lovely and interesting pieces of art, Mary. I would love to have a really chunky coffee table book made up of works such as these to enjoy while slobbing out on my sofa.

Have a scone for me if you ever make that outing with Rachel and Simon!

bookssnob said...

I must go to that in half term! Tea sounds wonderful!

mary said...

No rush, Rachel - the restaurant is still closed for restoration.Maybe it'll be open again in time for Darlene's next visit!

And Darlene - I'm happy to eat your share of scones. Glad to be of service!

StuckInABook said...

I did! There's lots about their friendship in her letters, and a bit in Cecil Beaton's Ashcombe.