Monday, 23 September 2019

Raymond Sheppard and Country Life and the Langham Sketch Club

Monkey Hill by Raymond Sheppard
For this short article I wanted to share an image published in a recent acquisition which touches on Sheppard in some way.

Country Life 13 November 1980 cover
Country Life began life in 1897 and is still being published. The 13 November 1980 issue has a two page article on "150 years of "The Langham": an artists' club and its past" written by A. H. Bear (on pp.1832-1835) with the above painting by Sheppard displayed.

Interestingly James Taylor in his book "Your Country Needs You: The secret history of the propaganda poster" (pp90-91) mentions that a "ridiculous argument broke out amongst its members as to whether the suppers should be hot or cold" and the subsequent split led to the formation of the London Sketch Club (who voted for hot suppers!). 

"Monkey Hill" that is shown in the article refers to the building in London Zoo. Malcolm Peaker has an overview of 'Monkey Hill' installation and the terrible story of how the baboon population diminished alarmingly quickly! If you want more details try here.

Iris Sheppard was sent a 150th anniversary invitation to a celebratory dinner

150th Anniversary dinner menu (21 Nov 1980)
  An exhibition took place in which one could see "Macaws" on loan from Mrs Sheppard.

150th Anniversary exhibition
Mrs Iris Sheppard is thanked

#148 in the exhibition is Sheppard

It can be reasonably deduced (as Christine Sheppard still owns this work) this is the actual image used in the exhibition

Macaws by Raymond Sheppard

For your added pleasure here are some sketches by Sheppard of macaws.

Macaw on perch in colour
Macaw in flight

Study of a Macaw late 1940's
Thanks to Paul Liss of Modern British Gallery

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