New works from Barbara Karmel Bequest go on show at Stanley Spencer Gallery

By Mark Sheerin | 05 November 2010
An oil painting of an old woman with angels in attendance
Sarah Tubb and the Heavenly Visitors (c.1933) © The Estate of Stanley Spencer
Exhibition: Stanley Spencer Gallery Winter Exhibition – the Barbara Karmel Bequest, Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham, until March 27 2011

It is 15 years since a bequest by collector Barbara Karmel bulked up the holdings of the Stanley Spencer Gallery in the English painter’s former hometown of Cookham.

Karmel’s donations have featured in every show at the Gallery since, and now 12 new works have been chosen for their Winter Exhbition.

The focus this season is on Spencer’s youthful romances with village girls Dorothy Hepworth and Emmy Wooster. The artist since wrote of his love for both women, who he apparently dated at the same time in promenades around Cookham.

Hepworth, also known as Dot, appears as a supernatural being in The Fairy on the Waterlily and as portrait subject in several drawings. She was also the recipient of three drawings Spencer made before studying art at London's Slade School of Fine Art, which also appear in the show.

Four oil paintings and eight drawings from the Bequest are joined by paintings on loan from other collectors. The Winter Exhibition demonstrates that Spencer, although a Christian painter, had some very earthly loves.

Open 11am-4.30pm Thursday-Sunday. Admission £3/£2.

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