Drawings at Rye Art Gallery

Margaret Barnard’s drawings completed while she was a student at Glasgow School of Art in 1919

To complement the Rye Art Galleries exhibitions opening next month Julian Day – Permanent Collections Curator – has selected works held by the the Rye Art Gallery Trust for an exhibition in the Stormont Studio from May 16 to June 30.

Collections Curator Julian Day with a portrait of the artist, Margaret Barnard by her friend Robert Sargent Austin completed in 1930

Most of the drawings displayed are from a bequest made in 1990 to the Rye Art Gallery Trust and by donations from the artist Margaret Barnard. Studying at the Glasgow School of Art from 1917-1923, Margaret became an important artist in Scotland where she also met her husband fellow artist Robert George Sang Mackechnie.

Head of a Young Woman c.1919 by Margaret Barnard – Donated by Keith Cavers

Some of the drawings were completed during Margaret’s time as a student there and you can see her development and progress taking place. Her portrait drawing of her husband was completed in 1919 when Robert was 25.

Drawing study possibly by Howard Stormont and work taken from Rye artist Edward Burra’s childhood sketch books

After graduating Margaret joined Grosvenor School of Art who were prominent in reviving linocut and printmaking, for which Margaret later became famous. Robert continued in drawing and painting traditions and joined the Seven and Five Society with Ivon Hitchens, Ben Nicholson and John Piper.

Moving to Rye and keeping a house in Italy for the winter months the couple became friendly with other local artists and were part of the thriving art scene here. They remained in East Sussex for the rest of their lives. Other drawings presented in this exhibition are by their friends and of the work they collected. Commenting on the display Julian said: “ Rye Art Gallery Trust are forever grateful for the wonderful drawings and etchings collection left by this couple and for the opportunity to show this work for the public to enjoy.”

Image Credits: Rye Art Gallery .


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