Monday, November 02, 2015

Sidney Hunt: Painting and Bookplate


It was a delight on yesterday's edition of The Antiques Roadshow to see this beautiful painting by Sidney Hunt, a painter whose work, as the expert on the program made clear, is very scarce. This maybe because much of it was destroyed in the same explosion in the blitz that killed the artist. Fortunately, Hunt made a good number of exlibris bookplates for people and so it is not impossible to own a little bit of art by him. Mine arrived only a few days ago and is a little a-typical in both subject matter and style but I believe Percy Livingstone Jackson was a priest and so maybe Hunt reigned it back a bit. Fore more characteristically homoerotic bookplates and more on the artist, John Coulthart has an excellent post on his blog.


9 comments:

Arianna Borga said...

excuse me, can you tell me where did you find the picture of the painting?

Arianna Borga said...

that means: where is this painting held? if you know it

ASmith said...

I have visited your site and pleased with your interest in my painting by Sidney Hunt. I have quite a comprehensive history of Sidney. My initial starting point was a an article in the Burlington Magazine dated April 2010. From there my interest grew. After WW1 Sidney designed War Memorials; gravestones and commemorative plaques etc. (He was part ownership of F. Osbourne & Co. ). Hone of his designs is on the Shrewsbury Railway station, I believe on platform 3. He also published two avant garde periodicals (RAY) circa 1926-27; with input from contemporaries of Sidney including – Kurt Schwitters; El Lissitzky; Theo Van Doesburg; Naum Gabo; Laslo Moholy-Nagy; Hans Arp, Chirco; K. Malewitsch; Ben Nicholson; Kandinsky; Gertrude Stein etc. etc. I have photo copies of these publications. He was not only an artist but also a draughtsman; engraver, poet publisher. An absolute polymath of the art world of his generation. Having studying his work and career I find it most sad and disturbing that he has been overlooked and barely registered by the art establishment. Surely his work and input should be equal to those above. I think Francis ( the antiques Roadshow expert) gave a true valuation of my painting. Recently a Kurt Schwitters painting sold for several million pounds. Do I understand the art world? I’m afraid not. Sidney appears to have been appreciated more abroad than at home. He won a prestigious prize for a bookplate ( Ex Libris Exhibition) held in Los Angles public museum in 1927; several hundred designs were entered. (The Helen Wheeler Basset Prize). I purchased the painting from my local flea market. It was probably from a house clearance. I am very proud to have it on my wall but it should probably be in a gallery. If you would like any more information on Sidney let me know

Arianna Borga said...

so you are the owner of the painting! I hadn't understand. But I think you will be pleased to know that I am studiyng Hunt for the final thesis of my master degree, which would focalize in particular on his magazine Ray. So yes, if you have more information about him, I would be very glad to know! I must say I have already collected much manterial about him, but he continues to be an elusive figure. Thank you very much! and enjoy your Sidney Hunt.

ASmith said...

Thank you for your interest in Sidney, I obtained photocopies of the journal ‘Ray’ from the Bodleian Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG, England. A small charge will be required, approximately £16. You may be able to get them online. If I have your address or a box number, I could post you a copy of the article from the Burlington magazine. I also have an article by James Guthrie, on Sidney hunt’s bookplates. Also an article by Maurice Fort on the young Sidney. I think Sidney’s contribution to the art world is very much underrated and should be reappraised. Had he survived the war I’m sure he would have been up there with the likes of Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Peter Blake etc. You could say the bookplate ‘Bella’ C Landauer, was very much a fore runner of ‘pop art’. He was very much before his time and probably not understood by the so called purists of the art establishment at that time. He appeared to be his own man and ploughed his own furrow. A lot of his work was openly homoerotic and reflected his lifestyle which at the time must have alienated him from some quarters of the establishment. This is only my opinion. Good Luck with your studies.

Arianna Borga said...

I have already found those articles you mentioned, but thank you all the same! It is difficult to find something about the journal Ray, but I will try to analise it in relation to other magazines of the period. It is a difficult task, but an exciting one! I also think Hunt was very advanced for his times, and I will try to demonstrate it. Thank you again, I will let you know something about future developments in my research.

Arianna Borga said...

Just one thing: is the drawing dated? I can't see from the image.

ASmith said...

The painting is dated 1925 ... Have you had any luck with the copy of the RAY magazine from the Bodleian Library ?

Arianna Borga said...

My professor has already obtained the copies for me. Thank you for the information!

 
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