LONDON.- Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford Museum
has acquired an important topographical drawing by celebrated artist Dora Carrington (1893 1932), who attended Bedford High School as a child. Bedford Market (1911) was acquired at auction for £17,290, of which Art Fund members gave £5,763, the V&A/MLA Purchase Grant Fund contributed £5,544 and the Trustees of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery gave the remainder. It is the only known work by Carrington that takes Bedford as its subject and is a rare depiction of her early life in the town.
Drawn in the linear style that she developed at the Slade, the detailed, atmospheric drawing depicts the towns busy market at the turn of the century. Today, the market is still held in the same location.
Over the last few years the Gallery has actively sought to form a collection of important works by Dora Carrington. These include the oil paintings Mrs Box (1919) and Spanish Boy (1924) and more recently two drawings of her brothers done in a more academic style, Noel (1912) and Teddy (c.1915).
Tom Perrett, Head of Collections and Exhibitions said of the acquisition: Bedford Market is a wonderful example of Dora Carringtons work, completed while she was a student at the Slade School of Art and influenced by the Slades emphasis on the importance of drawing. We were especially delighted to be able to acquire it to add to the Art Gallery & Museums small but important collection of work by Carrington, as it is the only known example that takes Bedford, then the familys home town, as its subject.
Dora Carrington was born in Hereford. After attending Bedford High School she went on to the Slade School of Art where contemporaries included Paul Nash, Christopher R.W. Nevinson and Mark Gertler. She became associated with the Bloomsbury Group primarily through her long term relationship with writer Lytton Strachey.
There is an opportunity to view the work on 4 August at Bedford Gallery, 1 1.30pm when Victoria Partridge, Keeper of Fine and Decorative Arts, will be giving a free lunchtime talk about Dora Carrington and her contemporaries from the Slade School of Art Paul Nash and Stanley Spencer.