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Stanley Spencer - Painting Paradise
Stanley Spencer, Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta (1953-59).

READING, UK.- The Museum of Reading are proud to announce their major autumn exhibition – an important retrospective of acclaimed painter and Berkshire resident Stanley Spencer, one of the most important and original British artists of the 20th Century. Featuring over 100 works, Stanley Spencer – Painting Paradise displays for the first time at the John Madejski Art Gallery (within the Museum of Reading), the entire collection held by the Stanley Spencer Gallery – soon to be closed for refurbishment.

Spencer’s work is inextricably linked with Cookham, the village on the River Thames where he lived and worked and which Spencer referred to as “a village in heaven’. In a fitting tribute to Berkshire’s most famous artist, the exhibition in Reading offers a broad overview of his work and style, clearly showing the inspiration he took from the surrounding landscape and local people. The exhibition includes his unfinished large-scale masterpiece, Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta (1953-59).

Stanley Spencer – Painting Paradise is set to be a revealing exhibition on this unique man’s life. With works that are rarely on public display, complemented with memorabilia that belonged to the artist, for anyone with a passion and interest in British Painting, it is unmissable.

The Museum of Reading is creating an education programme for schools and informal learners to complement the exhibition. Key to this will be the Stanley Spencer Big Draw Day on Saturday 14 October, which is free and open to everyone.

Richard McKenzie, Culture Councillor for Reading Borough Council commented… ‘I’m delighted that Reading Borough Council is working in partnership to bring Stanley Spencer’s wonderful art works to Reading’s Madejski Art Gallery, where they will be complemented by our own Spencer pieces. I hope many people will come and enjoy the exhibition whilst the Cookham gallery is closed for refurbishment.’

Dick Hurley, Chair of the Trustees at the Stanley Spencer Gallery commented… ‘This exhibition is particularly exciting as it represents the first opportunity for people to see the whole of our truly outstanding collection displayed together, whilst the Gallery undergoes major refurbishment. This show will be a real treat for art lovers and Spencer aficionados alike’.

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