SPENCER, Stanley

Stanley Spencer   British 1891-1959

Stanley Spencer, painter born in Cookham, Berkshire. His father was an organist and music teacher and he was from a family of eleven. His early interest and ability in art was fostered by lessons from a local artist and later by a year at the Maidenhead Technical Institute. In 1908 he went to the Slade School and was taught under Tonks. His contemporaries included Nevinson, Roberts, Gertler, Bomberg and Paul Nash. In 1910 he was awarded a scholarship followed by Melville Nettleship and Composition Prizes in 1912. It was also in 1912 that Spencer exhibited in Roger Fry’s Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition at the Grafton Galleries. In 1915 he enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps and was originally stationed at Beaufort War Hospital but in 1916 was posted to Macedonia with an ambulance brigade. Spencer married twice, his first wife was Hilda Carline who he divorced in 1937, his last wife was Patricia Preece, who he quickly lived apart from. His first one-man exhibition at Goupil Galleries was in 1932, the same year he was elected ARA. In 1952 he was awarded CBE; rejoined Royal Academy & elected RA. In 1955 there was a major retrospective exhibition at the Tate Gallery. Altogether, Stanley painted over 450 pictures and made hundreds of drawings, many of them set in and around Cookham.

The original drawings we have were purchased from the Studio Sale at Christie’s. These were remnants of his drawings in the possession of his two daughters’ from his marriage to Hilda.The daughters were present at the auction.

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