“Untitled” pencil & watercolour (14cms x 48cms)

John Tunnard (1900-1971)

Painter, designer and teacher, born in Sandy, Bedfordshire. He was educated at Charterhouse Public School, where he distinguished himself in art, then studied textile design at Royal College of Art, 1919-23. During the 1920s he played jazz semi-professionally and was also a textile designer at Tootal Broadhurst Lee, 1923-29. Was also art adviser to carpet-makers H M Southwell. Married the artist Mary Robertson. Tunnard began painting seriously in 1929, the year he was a part-time teacher at Central School of Arts and Crafts. In 1930 he moved to Cadgwith in Cornwall and began a hand-blocked print business with his wife. From this time his painting started to take off, with three paintings at the Royal Academy in 1931 and a first one-man show at Redfern Gallery, London two years later. Exhibited in the Surrealist Section in AIA Exhibition in 1937. Although Tunnard’s work has strong realistic elements, there is usually a Surrealist flavour. After serving as a Coastguard during World War 11 Tunnard was art master at Wellington College in 1945, then from 1948 taught at Penzanze School of Art for many years. Designed a mural for Festival of Britain 1951. Retrospective at Royal Academy, 1977. Another, organised by Henry Dyson at Grey College, University of Durham, 2000. Tate Gallery, British Council and many provincial and overseas galleries hold Tunnard’s pictures.

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