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Wildlife Art of the 20th Century

Staging site


DM Henry's Golden Eagle.
Date and Time: 
4-25 October 2014
World Land Trust art gallery, Halesworth
Free entry

A new exhibition at World Land Trust (WLT) art gallery reflects dramatic developments in wildlife art.

Works on display in the exhibition, Wildlife Art of the 20th Century, document a movement away from the scientific drawings of the 19th century and early 20th century to the freer, more personal artistic styles of the mid to late 20th century.

It was the sporting artists of the late 19th century who initiated the transition away from technical illustration towards paintings of wildlife in its natural habitat. Their innovation paved the way for great changes in style, presentation and artistic interpretation of wildlife art in the 20th century.

The years after the Second World War saw a rapid growth in interest in the conservation of the countryside, which was reflected by the number of artists choosing to paint wildlife subjects. This development led eventually to the creation in 1965 of the Society of Wildlife Artists, which became very influential in promoting new ideas.

Heron by RB Talbot-Kelly

Heron by RB Talbot-Kelly, ink and watercolour, 17cm x 17cm, framed, £550.

Gone were the analytical images of museum specimens. In their place came studies and sketches of living animals made by artists working in the field. Habitat and the environment gradually became more and more important, giving artists the freedom to create their own unique styles.

Paintings on display in the exhibition are by influential wildlife painters who have inspired - and continue to inspire - many wildlife artists working today.

Works are by Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935), Eric Ennion (1900-1981), R B Talbot Kelly (1896-1971), Allen W Seaby (1867-1953), D M Henry (1919-1977), Donald Watson (1918-2005), Winifred Austen (1876-1964) and Robert Hainard (1906-1999) and others.

World Land Trust manages WLT art gallery in partnership with the Wildlife Art Gallery, Lavenham. Wildlife art of the 20th Century has been curated by artist Andrew Haslen, who runs the Lavenham gallery with his daughter Amie, also an artist.

WLT art gallery is at Blyth House, Bridge Street, Halesworth. The gallery provides a small income for the Trust’s charitable work.

More information

WLT art gallery

Wildlife Art of the 20th Century opens at World Land Trust art gallery in Halesworth on 4 October and runs until 25 October 2014. Works are for sale and purchased artworks can be collected after 25 October 2014.

The gallery will be open during the first weekend of the exhibition, 4-5 October, 11am-4pm. Thereafter the gallery will be open Monday to Saturday, 10am-4pm.

Virtual tour of the exhibition » 

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