Art Fund gift helps Pallant House Gallery acquire Paul Nash treasures

By Culture24 Reporter | 13 February 2013
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Chichester gallery Pallant House will allow public access to an extensive range of Paul Nash's early wood engravings, etchings, photographs, collages and correspondence after buying the collection from the godson of one of the artist’s closest friends.

A photo of a striking black and white etching of a windswept hill with trees and houses
Paul Nash, The Dyke by the Road (1922). Wood engraving© Tate London 2013
Clare Neilson, a stockbroker’s daughter who settled in Kent and also enjoyed friendships with figures such as Edward Burra, met the celebrated war artist, landscape painter and surrealist master in 1930, sharing a love of book collecting which saw her find numerous antiquarian books for him.

A black and white photo of a man standing amongst dense foliage in a suit in a forest
Clare Neilson, Photograph of Paul Nash© Clare Neilson
In one of the letters, Nash expresses limitless gratitude for receiving a William Stukeley book on Avebury, written in 1743, from Neilson. His first letter, from August 1934, addresses his friend as “my dear Clare”, and he was a frequent visitor to the home she shared with her husband in Gloucester, where the nearby abandoned mine workings and stones in the Forest of Dean provided creative inspiration.

Tyger, Tyger, a collage showing a colour engraving of a tiger against a photo of a ruin from the forest, bears the words “Collage for Clare”. And there are more of the artist’s personal inscriptions within his illustrated books, with Genesis, Places, Mister Bosphorous and the Muses and Shakespeare’s A Midsommer Nights Dreame coming under his designs during the 1920s.

Admirers of Nash – widely regarded as one of the most important landscape artists of the period – will also enjoy a series of early wood engravings.

The Art Fund has helped the popular gallery acquire the works from Jeremy Greenwood and Alan Swerdlow, who have cared for them since Nash’s death in 1946.

“The collection is a significant addition to the gallery’s collection of modern British art,” said Simon Martin, the Head of Collections and Exhibitions.

“Not only does it include remarkable wood engravings and collage, but it also provides a fascinating and personal view into friendship and artistic patronage in the 1930s and 1940s.”

Highlights will go on display at the gallery from April 9 – June 30 2013.

More pictures:

A photo of a collage of a tiger on top of a black and white photo of castle ruins
Tyger Tyger (circa 1938). Collage of a colour engraving of a tiger against a photograph by Paul Nash of a ruin in the Forest of Dean© TATE London 2013
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