Collection News


Art UK's Sculpure Project - we are involved.

Posted on Jul 8th 2018

Back in 2004, our Collection of paintings in oil or acrylic were photographed and catalogued by Art UK as part of their record of all oil paintings in the UK held in public ownership - a huge national project.

You can see the extent and community involvement on their website. The results were also published in large paperback format, county by county, and are available to buy.

We have been invited to participate in their current project, which is to photograph and record all sculpture in public ownership. We have about 20 pieces that fall correctly into Art UK's categories and are pleased to be involved.

Art UK Logo

A Folio Box of 75 Sussex Etchings donated by Edward Twohig RE

Posted on Jun 7th 2018

The Collection has been presented with a custom-made portfolio box of 75 drypoint etchings celebrating Sussex, by Edward Twohig RE. We are deeply grateful for this spectacular donation.

Edward was our recent speaker at a Gallery illustrated talk on the original prints of Sir Frank Short RA, RI, PRE. We have 55 of Short's prints in the Collection - a unique bequest by his daughter Dorothy.

Edward was one of the instigators and curators of the April-May exhibition 'Print REbels' at Bankside Gallery, London, which is now travelling around the country. This exhibition celebrates the 200th anniversary of the founder of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers (RE), Sir Francis Seymour Haden, and shows the work of RE members past and present.

Edward's prints are lively images of the natural landscapes of Sussex and we can't wait to study and share them.

Edward Twohig RE With Portfolio Jun18 Lores

A glowing red painting - 'Rouge' by Nicholas Archer

Posted on May 29th 2018

We have accepted a painting generously offered to the Collection by artist Nick Archer. It met all the criteria specified in our Collection Development Policy and we are most grateful to have this example of work by a prize-winning artist of local and international stature.

The image is mysterious and seems a dream-like glimpse into a scene unexplained. The colours are sprayed and layered on and are a dramatic mix of reds, black and green. The support is a heavy, smooth copper sheet.


Giovanni Piranesi and Henry James at Lamb House, Rye

Posted on Apr 6th 2018

We were delighted to welcome Dr Jerzy Kierkuc-Bielinsky to see the nine works by Piranesi (1720 - 1778) in the Collection.

Jerzy is the National Trust's Curator for London and the South East and is researching the pictures, furniture and decor of Lamb House for its restoration by the NT as the home of various writers, including Henry James and EF Benson.

Our Piranesi engravings were originally owned by James, passed on to EF Benson and later bought by artists Robert McKechnie and Margaret Barnard who bequeathed them to the Gallery.

We looked at some photos showing the Piranesi prints hung in Lamb House hall during Henry James' time.

They will all be on show in Studio Gallery 6 next month.


Eric Ravilious (1903 - 1942), Boy Bird's Nesting

Posted on Jan 29th 2018

The Trustees are very pleased to have purchased an Eric Ravilious print for the Collection.

It is a wood engraving on boxwood showing a climbing boy reaching from the branch of a tree towards a nest. The composition is linear and decorative and the scene also has a romantic 'English' feel to it, showing a pastime redolent of childhood and earlier countryside days. Flying birds have scattered in the sky.

The original edition was of only 15 prints in 1927. This print is from the later Merivale edition of 1987.

Eric Ravilious Boy Birdnesting 1942

Robert Greenhalf SWLA, Wildlife Artist - a new Donation

Posted on Dec 17th 2017

The Trustees are delighted to accept the offer by Isabelle Sambrook, of a woodcut by wildlife artist Robert Greenhalf, SWLA, for the Collection. The title is 'Evening Lapwings'.

Robert Greenhalf's woodcuts and paintings are the result of long hours of patient observation in the wilds of the Kent and Sussex marshes and in Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.

He has held many exhibitions around the country and has published several books, including the magical 'Towards the Sea' 1999, a diary and visual record of his walks and observations of wildlife in land, water and seascape.

Robert Greenhalf Evening Lapwings

Bernard Dunstan RA, PPRWA, NEAC (1920 - 2017)

Posted on Nov 8th 2017

We are very sad to hear of the death of Bernard Dunstan. He and his wife Diana Armfield RA exhibited at the Gallery during the 1970s and we have some of their letters in our Archive.

Both artists have work in our Collection and two of our Trustees, Michael Miller and Dr Fanny Baldwin, visited them in their home as recently as last year. They were honoured to have been invited by Diana to the recent Celebration party at the Royal Academy for Bernard's life.

The photo shows Bernard painting in his studio last year 2016 and is a still from a film about him.

Bernard Dunstan RA PPRWA NEAC In 2016

Joan de Bethel (1923 - 2017) - Theatre Designer

Posted on Oct 24th 2017

We were sorry to hear of the recent death of Joan de Bethel, a member of Rye Society of Artists. She had trained as a theatre designer, and worked in New Zealand, London and Rye in partnership with her husband David.

We have two of Joan's very theatrical paintings in the Permanent Collection.

This one is 'End of the Day' and is acrylic and collage on board. Not difficult to imagine a stage, proscenium arch and eerie stage lighting...

The work was presented by Sally Westoby in 2013.


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