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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Julian Trevelyan and 'The Potteries'

One of the most popular paintings in the Swindon Collection is probably 'The Potteries' by Julian Trevelyan.  While on the trip to Marlborough College and St Peters Church I found a copy of his autobiography 'Indigo Days' in the Church book sale. Published in 1957 it's a fascinating read of life from the artists point of view and he talks of his time in Stoke on Trent when he made the painting.
This work was made when he was involved in the 'Mass Observation' social research organisation in the 1930s with the likes of film maker Humphrey Jennings and anthropologist Tom Harrison.

You will notice the names of other famous artists of the time including some in our collection, Michael Wickham who is sadly not, is mentioned by Trevelyan as they were great friends. For awhile their work was thought indistinguishable although the example below painted in Salford for Mass Observation doesn't really show this. Wickham who went to Marlborough College lived at Coleshill for some time where he created and landscaped the gardens around the site of the old house, now in care of the National Trust and best remembered for being the home and training ground for Churchill's Secret Army, The Auxillers.

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