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The Lost Drawings of Steven Spurrier at Panter & Hall, 13 -30 May2008
Gallery open Mon-Friday10-6 and Saturday by appointment.


We all dream of finding a lost masterpiece in our attic, in the case of the family of Steven Spurrier they found not one but dozens of lost works. Steven Spurrier was one of the best and most successful artists and illustrators of the 20th century but a collection of his paintings and drawings had lain forgotten about in a decaying old barn until they were rediscovered when the property was to be sold. Unfortunately one pile of drawings had also been discovered by a family of rats who had used the drawings as a B&B and had eaten a large hole in the centre of them. The family estimated that between 400-500 drawings and watercolours had been lost. At current prices that could easily be worth half a million pounds. Fortunately other drawings survived untouched and art dealers Panter & Hall, who had great success with an estate show of the Scottish colourist Alexander Galt, have been given the opportunity to exhibit and sell this absolutely glorious collection of drawings from the estate of Steven Spurrier.

Steven Spurrier RA ROI RBA RS, was an artist, author, poster designer and one of the most successful illustrators of his time, for over 50 years a regular contributor to the Illustrated London News, The Sketch, The Radio Times as well as many other British, American and German publications. He was chosen to illustrate many of the most important events of the day, including his full page front cover illustration of the marriage of Princess Marina and The Duke of Kent in the Daily Express’s Royal Wedding Souvenir in November 1934. He was the first illustrator of Arthur Ransome’s classic book Swallows and Amazons and also of Noel Streatfield’s Carnegie Award winning, The Circus is Coming. While working on the book he and Streatfield travelled with the Circus living in a tent to accurately portray the sights, smells and sounds of Circus life. Circus scenes were to figure prominently in his work from that time on, ironically it was a kick from a circus horse that was to cause him much ill health in later life and bring a premature end to his career.

Spurrier was also a very successful painter in oils and watercolour, exhibiting regularly in major exhibitions from 1906-1961. His work gained many admirers including The Empress of Russia who purchased his painting “Afternoon” from a Royal Academy show in 1913.

The current exhibition of Spurrier’s drawings at Panter & Hall in Shepherd Market covers a huge range of 20th Century society. Subjects range from soldiers to actors, urchins to politicians, from the BBC to the building site and from Acrobats in Aberdeen to ladies lazing in Nice. Collectively the work gives a fascinating insight into early 20th century life. Whatever he drew he drew beautifully and his reputation as one of the century leading illustrators proves entirely justified. His work is held in many major collections including The Tate, The National Portrait Gallery and The Imperial War Museum.

For further information contact;
t. 020 7399 9999

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