Lectures, talks and the annual sale at The Fry Art Gallery in Saffron Walden will help to brighten autumnal skies

PUBLISHED: 13:52 23 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:52 23 October 2019

The Canterbury Tales, a mural at Morley College

The Canterbury Tales, a mural at Morley College


The gallery’s annual Exhibition and Sale is on Saturday and Sunday, November 16 and 17 at the gallery in Castle Street, which will be re-opened for the weekend.

Though the Fry Art Gallery closes for the winter on Sunday, October 27, there are a series of public events, to brighten these autumn days, including lectures and a film about the Bardfield Artists.

An illustrated talk on The Morley College Murals will be given by Elaine Andrews, the current librarian of Morley College, on Friday, October 25.

Morley College in London, was where the composer Gustav Holst gave evening classes to working people. His pupils said it was "a little bit of Heaven on a Tuesday evening."

In 1928, the artists Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious were commissioned to paint murals in the college's refreshment room.

The themes were mainly Shakespearian, but also included a series called Life in a Boarding House.

The murals were opened 1930 by Stanley Baldwin, soon to be Prime Minister.

Sadly, they were totally destroyed in 1940 during the Blitz but in 1958 Edward Bawden was invited to produce a new mural for the re-built college. The work was based on the Canterbury Tales, assisted by his student Justin Todd.

The second Fry Gallery lecture on Friday, November 22, is on The David Parr House, Cambridge by Tamsin Wimshurst.

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David Parr was a late Victorian, working-class painter employed for many years by the decorative arts company F R Leach & Sons. Their Cambridge clients included Jesus College and All Saints Church in Jesus Lane.

Over 40 years, Parr decorated his terrace house at 186 Gwydir Street, Cambridge, in the manner of these grand arts and crafts interiors, creating hand-painted wall decoration, Gothic carvings and stained glass panels.

The house was also a family home for Parr, his wife Mary and their three children. After the couple died, their granddaughter, Elsie Palmer, cared for the interiors for the next 85 years and raised her own family here.

After her death, the house was bought by a charitable trust, which Ms Wimshurst chairs. It was opened to the public this year.

Both lectures will at the Quaker Meeting House, High Street, Saffron Walden at 7.45pm. Tickets £8 on the door or from Tourist Information 01799 524002.

The Gallery's annual Exhibition and Sale is on Saturday and Sunday, November 16 and 17 at the gallery in Castle Street, which will be re-opened for the weekend.

Artists will include Edward and Richard Bawden, John Ballany, Anne Desmet, Nigel Hall, Ken Howard, Eduardo Paolozzi and Michael Rothenstein.

1pm to 5pm on Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sunday. Free entry.

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