Location: Braintree Museum, Braintree, Essex
The exhibition will feature drawings and lithographs by Edward Bawden from the King Penguin publication Life in an English Village published in 1949. The black and white sketches which have been generously lent by Bardfield Historical Society show everyday life in this North Essex village from Mr Bone’s Butcher shop to Reverend Cartwright writing a sermon and Miss Duffield’s classroom to the artist John Aldridge having a drink in The Bell public house. Edward Bawden’s illustrations are a unique and fantastic snapshot of Great Bardfield Village at a specific moment in time.
As well as Braintree born artist Edward Bawden, Great Bardfield attracted many artists who made the village their home: John Aldridge, Eric Ravilious, Michael Rothenstein, Sheila Robinson, Bernard Cheese, Kenneth Rowntree, Kate and George Chapman, Walter Hoyle, Stanley Clifford-Smith and Joan Glass, Marianne Straub, Audrey Cruddas. In the 1950s, they unusually opened up their homes to the public with several Open House exhibitions showcasing their work in a domestic setting. The exhibition will look at how they have been inspired by the surrounding landscape and depicted the local area in their different artistic styles. On display will also be the more recent work by Richard Bawden and Linda Richardson.
The exhibition will be a unique opportunity to see work from several different collections on display together from Great Bardfield Historical Society, Fry Art Gallery, Chelmsford Museum and the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery.
Image credit: Braintree Museum