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Talk – ‘The Call of the Wild: Pioneers of the Newlyn School’

Walter Langley painting from BMAG

Event Description

Dame Laura Knight Society talk by Brendan Flynn

In 1882 the Birmingham painter Walter Langley settled with his wife and three young children in Newlyn, Cornwall. He was soon followed by his friends Edwin Harris and William Wainwright who had both graduated from the Birmingham School of Art. They were idealists, attracted to the fishing and farming communities of this remote part of England which represented a simpler, pre-industrial life governed by the seasons and unspoiled by materialism. Painting directly from nature, they set out to record the local people and incidents from their daily lives. They were the first British painters to portray members of the rural working class as real individuals with an inner life and not simply as ‘characters’ or archetypes. In this they were pioneers, setting an example for the next wave of Newlyn painters like Stanhope Forbes, Hilda and Harold Harvey and Laura Knight.

This illustrated talk will examine the origins of the Newlyn Colony and the important contribution made by the ‘Birmingham Boys’.

Brendan Flynn was Keeper of Fine Art and later Senior Curator of Visual Art at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. In 1998 he was appointed Curator of Fine Art at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery where he developed the Pre-Raphaelite, Modern British and Contemporary International art collections. He retired in 2012 and is now working as a freelance exhibition curator and lecturer.

Tickets: £8 (non-members) and £5 (members) available from Heather Whatley: hwhatley90@gmail.com

Image credit: Walter Langley, ‘Never Morning Wore to Evening but Some Heart Did Break’ (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery)

Saturday 6 November


Colwall Village Hall


Colwall Village Hall

Mill Lane


WR13 6EQ

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