The latest acquisition to Penlee’s collection comes courtesy of long-time benefactor, George Bednar. This 1908 painting by Lamorna Birch is the fifty-second item given by George since his first donation of a drypoint engraving by Elizabeth Forbes (the first of many) back in 1995.
Artists Painting in the Lamorna Woods, which was included in the recent Lamorna Colony Pioneers exhibition, features Birch’s wife and eldest daughter, Houghton and Mornie, sitting with their dog, whilst being painted by two artists believed to be Harold and Laura Knight. For those of you who visited the exhibition last summer, would have seen the Laura Knight portrait of Mornie, wearing the same outfit and holding a doll. A small painting by Harold Knight, once belonging to Mornie and sold at auction in 1999, depicts her in the same attire, also holding the doll.
It is a beautiful addition to the collections and we are very grateful to George for all his generous support over the years.
The Friends Committee have been busy purchasing items for Penlee’s collections last year. In the Spring, we acquired a watercolour by William Wainwright entitled Mental Arithmetic, depicting an old sea dog in a sail loft counting coins. Wainwright first visited Newlyn in 1881, following in fellow Birmingham artist Walter Langley’s footsteps. He returned in 1883, staying in the village for two years, therefore dating this painting to the early 1880s. It will go on display early next year, once it has undergone conservation treatment.
As well as paintings, the Friends have also acquired two pieces of studio pottery by renowned potter William Marshall. The first, a lidded ginger jar, was purchased by the Committee and the second, a bottle vase with tenmoku glaze was donated by the vendor.
The Friends of Penlee House is a registered charity (No: 1001644), the object of which is to support the aims and activities of Penlee House Gallery and Museum, home to the county’s best known collection of work by artists of the Newlyn School.