Making Art Matter: Clifford & Rosemary Ellis | Events at The Victoria Art Gallery

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Making Art Matter: Clifford & Rosemary Ellis

Making Art Matter: Clifford & Rosemary Ellis


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This exhibition celebrates the work of Clifford and Rosemary Ellis, whose artistic partnership spanned five decades. Their creative output included iconic book cover and poster designs and wonderful watercolours recording the Bath Blitz.

Clifford Ellis is perhaps best known for his work as head of the pioneering Bath Academy of Art. Based at Corsham Court from 1946, the Academy had a pioneering programme, with some of the best artists of the day teaching in an environment where the emphasis was on training future art teachers.

Their imagery reveals an overwhelming interest in, and love of, the British countryside and the creatures that inhabit it. Signing their work simply ‘C&RE’, they also shared a love of fresh bright colour and bold design.

The Ellis Family Archive that was given to the Victoria Art Gallery in 2016 is shared with the Bath Record Office. Amongst the gems of the collection are the wartime diary of Rosemary Ellis, posters designed in the 1930s for clients such as Shell and BP, and book cover artwork for the iconic Collins New Naturalists series (1945-82). Many of these items feature in this exhibition.