'The Artists of Great Bardfield' by Bruce Ronaldson

Wednesday 06 November 2019
20:00 to 22:00

In the early 1930s two young artists cycled on hired bikes from the railway station at Great Dunmow via Thaxted to Great Bardfield in search of a suitably isolated rural location in which they could work. Those artists - Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious - lighted upon Brick House in Great Bardfield and over the next three decades the property became the centre of a flourishing artists’ colony which in due course embraced more that half-a-dozen other properties in the village.


Rothstein, Chapman, Clifford-Smith, Cruddas, Hoyle, Straub and Aldridge were some of the names attracted to Great Bardfield, their artistry spreading across a wide rangeof disciplines including textiles, wallpaper design, ceramics, painting, drawing and sculpture. The artists of Great Bardfield didn’t represent any particular school of design: they seem to have been drawn together simply by their love of the village and by their proximity to others who were making a living in artistic circles.


The 1950s saw the acclaimed Open Home Exhibtiions established in Great Bardfield when many of the artists’ homes were open to the public with their works for sale and when thousands of visitors flocked to the village. Edward Bawden, with his commissions from London Transport and Shell, was probably the most high profile member of the group but other artists, often inspired by village life and rural surroundings, have left a strong legacy with pieces to be found today in the Victorian and Albert Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and the Imperial War Museum.


This legacy – as well as the lives of the artists drawn to Great Bardfield - will be explored at the next meeting of the South Woodham Ferrers Local History Society when Bruce Ronaldson a practising artist, art historian and art class teacher will present his illlustrated talk ‘The Artists of Great Bardfield’. This talk will take place at 8.00 pm on Wednesday 6th November at Champions Manor Hall, Hullbridge Road, CM3 5LJ. Visitors are welcome to attend (admission £3). Any enquiries please telephone 01245 321518. 

Contact John Frankland
01245 321518
Champions Manor Hall
Hullbridge Road
South Woodham Ferrers
(view map)
Cost Free for Society members; visitors are very welcome to attend (admission £3)