Fry Art Gallery
The Fry Art Gallery is an art gallery in Saffron Walden, Essex. Located on Church Street, on a path leading down to Bridge End Gardens, it is best known for its displays of work by the Great Bardfield Artists, including Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious.
History of the gallery
The gallery was designed to house the art collection of Francis Gibson, a local Quaker businessman who died in 1859, and the building passed by descent to the Fry family. In its present form, the gallery was established in 1985 and it is managed by the Fry Art Gallery Society. The Gallery's permanent collection is rotated annually and new works added as well as temporary exhibitions.
The Fry houses work by artists who have local connections with north west Essex. Artists of note include Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious, Michael Rothenstein, Michael Ayrton, Paul Beck, Sir George Clausen RA, Robert Colquhoun, Keith Vaughan, John Aldridge, John Bellany RA, Grayson Perry, Robert MacBryde, and the photographer, Edwin Smith.
Work of the Great Bardfield Artists
Bawden, who with his friend Ravilious discovered Bardfield and became a key figure in the local artists' scene, is well represented in a collection of linocuts, watercolours, posters, ceramics, books and other printed material. The gallery displays watercolours by Ravilious, plus lithographs, books, fabric, ceramics and a collection of woodblocks, as well as two of his scrapbooks. Also in the collection are works by Tirzah Garwood, Mrs Eric Ravilious.
The gallery has an emphasis on the artists' community which settled in Great Bardfield, during the middle years of the last century. Alongside Bawden and Ravilious, Bardfield artists of note – many of whom having had exhibitions at the Fry – include John Aldridge, Keith Vaughan and Bernard Cheese. Other artists linked to the community and shown in previous exhibitions include, Richard Bawden, John Bolam, George Chapman, Stanley Clifford-Smith, Audrey Cruddas, Tirzah Garwood, Joan Glass, Walter Hoyle, Sheila Robinson, Michael Rothenstein, Kenneth Rowntree and Marianne Straub.
The gallery tells the story of the artists of Great Bardfield and holds and shows a comprehensive collection of their work. The collection comprises works in oil, on paper, drawings, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, archival material, ceramics, sculpture, glass, books and other printed items. Interactive screens in the gallery and online display over 800 images from the collection.
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- "‘Exciting’ exhibition and new works on display at The Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden". Dunmow Broadcast 24. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- Martin Salisbury (Ed), Artists at the Fry: Art and Design in the North West Essex Collection, Ruskin Press, Cambridge, 2003
- Artists at the Fry: Art and Design in the North West Essex Collection, Northend Creative Print Solutions, 2012
- Ravilious at the Fry: A guide to his works in the Fry ARt Gallery, Northend Creative Print Solutions, 2012