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Collection News


Walter Vivian Cole MBE, 'The Swan'

Posted on Sep 17th 2017

Wally Cole (1913 - 1999} was a master ceramics craftsman, artist and the founder of Rye Pottery.

This beautiful flowing sculpture was presented to the Collection by Tarquin and Biddy Cole. Tarquin succeeded his father as Director of Rye Pottery. It is currently displayed in the glass link between our two buildings.

The Swan was commissioned in 1968 by Frederick McManus OBE and made for the artist's 80th birthday retrospective in 1993. This one is made of marble flour and resin and is part of a very small edition cast in 2010.

Wally Cole Swan 1968 And 2010 Lores

'Artists' Choice' - Louis Turpin and Davida Smith curate

Posted on Jul 23rd 2017

Louis and Davida, are currently choosing items from the Permanent Collection ready for our inaugural 'Artists' Choice' exhibition in Sept/Oct.

As creative and successful professional artists, also with a life-long connection to Rye, each has merited having work selected for the RAG Permanent Collection. They also have work in Collections all over the country.

In addition, their paintings, drawings and original prints can be found for sale in our Contemporary Art galleries if you are lucky!

Louis And Davida 2017

Loan of a Design Scroll from Ceramics Maritime Painter - Richard Horner

Posted on Jul 5th 2017

Richard Horner, Rye painter of maritime scenes on pottery for Cinque Ports Pottery and other Rye potteries over many years, has let us have on loan his remarkable scroll of original designs.

The scroll is many metres long and full on both sides with his professional designs of all kinds of boats and crew. One side of the scroll is covered with drawings of acutely observed vessels (as here) and the other is a pageant of painted boats (see below for an example.)

These photos are temporary snaps as we plan to have the scroll professionally photographed as the designs are part of Rye's visual history. This will be undertaken by award-winning photographer, Peter Greenhalf ARPS, AOP.

IMG 0176 Low Res

The painted boats of Richard Horner

Posted on Jul 5th 2017

Here is an example of one small area of Richard Horner's design scroll (see above) on its painted side, showing some Rye boats in colour.

IMG 0183 Low Res

'GO GREEN' and David Crew's painting 'Forest Watch'

Posted on Jun 27th 2017

There is a green environment in Gallery 6 where we are showing a group of paintings all featuring Green as their most important colour.

Essential viewing includes 'Forest Watch' by David Crew (b. 1948).

This is a mysterious, brooding and monolithic work. It shows a Bavarian landscape with a woman rowing a boat on Lake Riessersee. We see tall fir trees, grey rocky mountains and a nearby totem pole overlooking the translucent lake with its rower and fish.

The painting was the generous donation of Ann Robertson in memory of her father Dr Colin Robertson and Elaine Robertson.


"Water, Water Everywhere... "

Posted on May 10th 2017

Water Water - certainly in Gallery 6.

Work from the Collection features how artists have handled the depiction of water in different ways.

The haunting image is 'The Ferryman' by artist, film-maker and jazz musician Eric Money (1946 - 2003).
Strangely still water, hazy texture and dream-like figures in the boat provide the viewer with an evocative and unsettling experience leaving more questions than answers...


Reginald Sharpley (1879-1947) - Donation of a Sketchbook from 1919

Posted on Mar 13th 2017

We are very grateful indeed to Margaret Bird for her generous donation of a superb Sketchbook by Reginald Sharpley covering January - July 1919.
There are many scenes of Rye - landscapes, buildings, boats and a few including figures. There are also scenes of other familiar parts of Sussex and beyond. The sketches are in graphite with just a few cloud studies where he has included blue crayon.

Sharpley exhibited watercolours at the RA and published two books in AC Black's series on English Landscapes

The scene shown here is titled 'The Circus, Rye 25th June' and shows crowds enjoying the fair on the Salts, just as we do today.

R Sharpley Rye Circus 1919 S

'OTHER PEOPLE' - Come and see the famous and the infamous...

Posted on Jan 24th 2017

Gallery 6 is full of Other People this month and next!
Some of them we even know, such as the sitter for 'Portrait of Elizabeth' by Christine Young. Betty Ellwood, the subject and donor of the painting, is a long-time supporter of the Gallery and sat for this portrait in 1942.

It is slightly surrealist in style with de Chirico-esque arches and symbolic emblems of travel which Betty did not know were going to be included - the sea, a map and the pilgrim's scallop shell.

Portrait Of Elizabeth 1942 S

'Horse on the Mountain' - a Bequest

Posted on Dec 7th 2016

The title of the show in Gallery 6 at the moment is ANIMALS.

We are delighted to include a recent bequest to the Collection - 'Horse on the Mountain', 1954, by Margaret Barnard (1898-1992) from the estate of the late Joy Murrell who died earlier this year.

Joy was regularly in receipt of our printing orders at Adams of Rye. We are so grateful to enhance our holdings of local and national artist Barnard, who had lived not far from Joy.

The horse is in Barnard's very English surrealist style, solid and strange - a wild carousel horse.

Margaret Barnard Horse On The Hill 1954

Bronze sculpture of Clare Sheridan by Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959)

Posted on Oct 12th 2016

This characterful bronze is currently on display in Gallery 6 and is one of several bronzes held in the Gallery's Collection.

Works by Epstein are held in major Galleries all over the world.

Clare Sheridan (1885-1970), nee Frewen, grew up in East Sussex. She was a sculptor in bronze and wood and also a traveller and writer. Based in London for much of her life, her last years were spent in Hastings.

Jacob Epstein Claire Sheridan Small

Three works by Paul Nash (1889 - 1946) in Gallery 6

Posted on Sep 17th 2016

These three works by Paul Nash are part of our Rye Arts Festival exhibition and included to support artist Dave McKean who has arranged a mixed media event, 'Black Dog - the Dreams of Paul Nash' on 18th September. They are:

'Garden Pond', 1922, a wood engraving that shows the artist moving towards abstraction. The image is one of the illustrations in the book 'Places' written and illustrated by Nash. The location probably relates to the the engraving 'Black Poplar Pond, Iden', 1921.

'Promenade' is also a wood engraving and shows figures walking by the sea wall at Dymchurch. Further engagement with abstract forms, here based on swirling patterns of steps and waves, continues in his work.

'Nocturne, Landscape of the Vale', 1944. The watercolour was painted at the end of WW II and is the earliest work by Nash purchased by the Gallery

Paul Nash Wc And Woodcuts Small

Edward Burra and Eric Gill - two new woodcuts have arrived!

Posted on Jul 31st 2016

The Trustees have just acquired two new woodcuts for the Collection,
They are the witty 'Two at a Bar' 1928-29, by Burra and the gentle 'Madonna and Child' 1925, by Eric Gill.

We are delighted - they fit perfectly with our Collection Development Policy which concentrates on 20th and 21st century British art.

Eric Gill Madonna And Child 1925