The Art School

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postwarblue
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The Art School

Post by postwarblue » Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:10 pm

Various comments about the Art School (and Nell Todd) have turned up on the forum but perhaps it deserves a thread of its own.

Benedict Rubbra is in the latest CHOBA newsletter vis a vis a current exhibition. I recall a work of his on show in the Art School in the 1950s which showed prodigious talent and, unlike many 'modern' or 'abstract' artists, an innate ability to draw.
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alterblau
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Re: The Art School

Post by alterblau » Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:54 pm

I too recollect one of Rubbra’s works. It was a superb portrait of ACW Edwards (in turn “Canterbury Lamb”, staff officer, housemaster and finally school librarian and always in his later years most photogenic). However it was displayed in an almost finished state, at the request/command of Nell Todd. She declared that the work contained something of the very essence of “Teddy” Edwards (often called Ted Ed), which might be lost if the portrait was completed. Is this work still at CH?

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Re: The Art School

Post by Chris T » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:05 pm

A selection of Benedict Rubbra’s works (mainly portraits of the great and the good) can be seen at http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings ... deshow#/11

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Re: The Art School

Post by keibat » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:07 pm

I also remember the portrait of Teddy Edwards – yes, a magnificent portrait, of a very lovable person.
By coincidence – ? – the email which came in today from CHOBA announces an exhibition of Rubbra's work this summer, but sadly, from my point of view, in Exeter, too far away from Lincolnshire (current abode) unless by a special trip, which is unlikely.

Another gifted CH painter from the 50s, a year or so younger than Rubbra, I suppose, was Conrad Clarke. I bought one of his paintings for (if I remember right) £5, serious money those days for a young teenager, as a present for my mother; I suspect she didn't really like it all that much, but it hung on her wall for many years – and I have now inherited it.

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Re: The Art School

Post by Mid A 15 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:35 pm

My late mother purchased a sculpture of a Bluecoat Boy from the School c 1970 or so when I was still a pupil.

A distant bell in my memory tells me that Benedict Rubbra was the artist concerned.

Can anybody confirm or deny?
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Re: The Art School

Post by viejoazul » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:37 am

Benedict Rubbra’s portrait of Teddy was displayed in the Art School for quite a while. I studied it at length and remember being most impressed and envious too, for I had attempted a portrait without much success. Nell thought Teddy’s portrait was totally superb.

But on looking at the BBC website, mentioned in an earlier post, it seems that Benedict’s current works indicate much less inspiration (or is my memory faulty?), though probably his current style is far more fashionable. But then I have been accused by some artist ‘friends’ of being an illiterate and insensitive reactionary.

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Re: The Art School

Post by Angela Woodford » Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:50 pm

I enjoyed looking at these portraits very much. They are wonderful!

But they're all of men! Does Benedict Rubbra dislike painting women?
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Re: The Art School

Post by donfay » Tue May 10, 2016 8:24 am

Nell Todd usually described my paintings as muddled and uncoordinated. That has not stopped me over the years from enjoying painting (often abstract) pictures. Some of those from a couple of years ago (one titled Nell Todd Shapes) are hanging in the entrance hall of the Hillsborough (Co Down) Village Centre during May 2016. It can be seen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/don_fay/1 ... 028534936/
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alterblau
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Re: The Art School

Post by alterblau » Tue May 10, 2016 9:23 am

In response to Angela - While at school I recollect a portrait of Nell Todd, by Benedict. It was superb, just like his other work I saw in the Art School. Whether he still paints females, or not, I don’t know.

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Re: The Art School

Post by brian walling » Tue May 10, 2016 11:35 am

Another less well known CH artist, broadly contemporaneous with B Rubbra, was WA (Bill) Riseboro, MaA 49-57. He left CH for a distinguished career in architecture and town planning, but at CH he was quite active in painting and there were several of his works in the Art School. Perhaps his best known piece at that time was a large (maybe 1metre x 3metres or more) canvas of the Acropolis in Ancient Athens with a procession winding its way up the slopes. For a while this hung in one of the classrooms in the Classics block -- maybe in MW (Martin) Barker's room on the upper floor, possibly Patrick Daunt's on the ground floor. Anybody remember this -- or know what happened to the picture eventually?
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Re: The Art School

Post by michael scuffil » Sun May 15, 2016 5:40 pm

keibat wrote: Another gifted CH painter from the 50s, a year or so younger than Rubbra, I suppose, was Conrad Clarke. I bought one of his paintings for (if I remember right) £5, serious money those days for a young teenager, as a present for my mother; I suspect she didn't really like it all that much, but it hung on her wall for many years – and I have now inherited it.
I knew Conrad Clarke quite well (he was in ThB). He was a communist and an atheist, and made no secret of either opinion. I think it fair to say he 'influenced' me as a boy. He also had a copy of Lord of the Rings as soon as it was first published. It was read for a while as a weekend dorm book, but didn't go down very well and was abandoned.

Talking of acquiring pictures, curiously I acquired one (free of charge) from keibat. Just before he left, he scattered six gouaches of CH and its surroundings around ThB dayroom. These were picked up by various people, and I got one of Itchingfield church. Years later, I found it again and had it framed. When Keith visited us a few years back, he was taken aback to see it hanging on the wall. I wonder what happened to the others? They're basically in orange, green and black. There was a good one of the Library.
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Re: The Art School

Post by jhopgood » Sun May 15, 2016 7:26 pm

Does anyone remember a large pen and ink drawing of devils and other imps, just inside the door to the Art School, signed by my predecessor at Barnes B 25, one Joe Curtis, whose brother, Robin, was also in Barnes B?
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Re: The Art School

Post by jhopgood » Sun May 15, 2016 7:28 pm

Keibat gave me one of his paintings, three black crosses and a orange and something background.
I remember taking it home, but it never travelled with me and disappeared at some stage. Probably disposed of by my brother when he inherited my room at home.
Barnes B 25 (59 - 66)

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