Gallery acquires Essex art

PUBLISHED: 18:00 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:34 31 May 2010

New works on display at Fry Art Gallery.
Saffron Walden.
August 26, 2008.
Photograph by Michael Boyton.
Pic shows: Iris with a painting by Keith Vaughan entitled

New works on display at Fry Art Gallery. Saffron Walden. August 26, 2008. Photograph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: Iris with a painting by Keith Vaughan entitled "Harrow Hill III". Names (L-R): Iris Weaver (committee member of Fry Art Gallery).

A GALLERY is now displaying two recently-purchased paintings by Essex-based artists worth a total of almost £60,000. The Fry Art Gallery in Castle Street, Saffron Walden, has acquired artworks by painters Keith Vaughan (1912-1977) and Eric Ravilious (1903

A GALLERY is now displaying two recently-purchased paintings by Essex-based artists worth a total of almost £60,000.

The Fry Art Gallery in Castle Street, Saffron Walden, has acquired artworks by painters Keith Vaughan (1912-1977) and Eric Ravilious (1903-1942).

Chairman of the gallery Nigel Weaver said: "We have been looking to purchase work from both of these artists for some time and we are delighted to add these pictures to our collection."

The money to buy the paintings was provided by The Art Fund, the UK's largest independent art charity, the gallery and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Vaughan's abstract oil painting Harrow on the Hill III was purchased for £35,000 and Ravilious's watercolour Demonstrating a Machine Gun was bought for £24,000.

Vaughan - who is regarded as one of the greatest British artists of the mid 20th century - lived and worked in North West Essex for the last 13 years of his life. The painting is of his home at Harrow Hill in Topplesfield.

Ravilious's Demonstrating a Machine Gun, which depicts a scene at RAF Sawbridgeworth, about 15 miles from Saffron Walden, was unfinished at the time of his death in September 1942. An official war artist, he was killed whilst accompanying a Royal Air Force mission to Iceland.

Founded in 1985, the gallery's purpose is to collect the work of major 20th century North West Essex artists with a strong connection to the area. It has built up an extensive collection of artwork including work by Eric Ravilious but until now had no works by Keith Vaughan which the gallery believed was a major omission.

David Barrie director of The Art Fund, which provided £14,000 to help purchase the two paintings, said: "Harrow on the Hill III is a beautiful abstract painting of an Essex landscape by one of the leading artists of his generation. Its acquisition makes excellent sense for Fry Art Gallery and I am delighted that The Art Fund was able to help them secure this very fine work."

The gallery is open from 2pm to 5pm on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and also on Saturday morning from 11am to 1pm.

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