Wednesday, June 1, 2022

565. Ricketts & Shannon at the Technical School of Art (2)

The previous blog with new data on the schooling of the artists of The Vale (written by Anna Gruetzner Robins) prompted John Aplin to delve into the archives once again. An uncredited memoir from the collection of the Senate House in London was probably written by Arthur Hugh Fisher (1867-1945), who remembered the days at the Lambeth School of Art:

The school occupied two buildings at half a mile distance from each other. One was in a narrow alley off Upper Kennington Lane and there were held classes for drawing from casts of the antique and classes for study of perspective. At the other, in Kennington Park Road, were the life classes and the modelling school. Among the students at that time were [Sturge] Moore's great friends Charles Ricketts and C.H. Shannon and those admitted to their intimacy, Reginald Savage and [A.J.] Finberg.
[Senate House, MS 978/1/10/2-5]

F.H. Townsend, cartoon dated [1]891, Pick-me-up, 11 July 1891

The memoir mentions twenty-six students by name, and  refers to a cartoon by another artist:

In the comic weekly "Pick-me-up" appeared a drawing by F.W. Townsend of a scene at the Life Class in which the figures were portraits of his fellow-students. In the absence of the expected model a passing tramp has been fetched in from the street. [...] In his drawing Moore is clearly recognisable - He has his coat off and wears only one instead of a pair of braces to hold up his trousers. Ricketts is waving his hands in characteristic gesture and a number of the other students are equally well-portrayed.

Published on July 11, 1891, the cartoon was apparently not made in the 1880s when the artists were attending art school, but perhaps it is based on an old sketch.

Seated on the unfolded easel - also a stool - in the foreground is Thomas Sturge Moore with the palette in his hand. In the background, apparently unaware of the goings-on in the room, Charles Ricketts is busy trying to convince a fellow student of his views. 

F.H. Townsend,
cartoon dated [1]891,
Pick-me-up, 11 July 1891:

It's a nice early portrait of Ricketts whose appearance in those years seems well captured.

[Thanks are due to John Aplin for supplying the image and a transcription of the memoir.]