" />
Eric Ravilious, Cuckmere Haven, 1939

Ravilious Room

Towner holds one of the largest public collections of works by Sussex artist Eric Ravilious (1903-1942). Our permanent Ravilious Room is a dedicated space to admire a selection of his finest watercolours, explore our unique archive and browse books on the artist.


To coincide with the Recording Britain exhibition, this display will focus on Ravilious’ work that records the British landscape, in particular Sussex, at a time when the threat of war was imminent. The painting, Cuckmere Haven, is an example of his foresight to record a familiar Sussex view in the March of 1939 prior to the outbreak of war later that year.

The display will also feature war time works that capture military aircraft and barrage balloons and their presence in the British countryside.

In 1939 Ravilious was invited to be a war artist for the War Artists Advisory Committee (WAAC), a scheme prompted by Sir Kenneth Clark. It was whilst on a RAF mission that his plane disappeared in Iceland in September 1942 and he was officially declared dead the following year.

The room features specially commissioned cabinets to view and enjoy the Ravilious archive. Copies of the wide range of Ravilious books will also be available for you to read.

Come enjoy his unique views of Sussex, the South Downs, and surrounding areas.

*Advance notice about future closure: the Ravilious Room will be closed from 26 June-8 July inclusive, opening with a new display on Saturday 9 July.


Supported by Eastbourne Arts Circle


Eastbourne Arts Circle Talks

These popular talks look at the lives and work of great painters through the ages. For dates, please see their website: eastbourneartscircle.org.uk/

1/2 Eric Ravilious, Cuckmere Haven, 1939. Towner Collection.
2/2 Eric Ravilious, Barrage Balloon, 1940. Towner Collection.

What's On