Portraits in the Towner Collection

Posted on 20/03/2013

Kitty,-the-artist's-sister-1929-by-David-Bomberg-EASTG2053The Towner collection is known for its beautiful landscapes but portraiture also forms a significant and compelling strand. On 23 March the new collection display will unveil an array of portraits which have been gifted to or acquired for the collection over the years.

Some of these will be familiar favourites; others are being shown for the first time, providing an opportunity to discover less well known works in the Towner collection.

Towner proudly shows an internationally renowned collection of over 4000 pieces and is best known for its modern British art. The collection began in 1920 with Alderman John Chisholm Towner’s bequest of 22 paintings to the people of Eastbourne, and has grown to include a variety of images and styles, including historical and formal portraiture, narrative scenes and self portraits.

Key Towner Collection artists such as Edward Bawden, David Bomberg and Christopher Wood are represented in the portraits exhibition, whilst some intriguing lesser known artists and works are also revealed. Some of the oldest paintings in the Towner collection are portraits, and a selection of these are being shown, including Portrait of a Lady by Geeraert Van Haarlem, which dates from the 15th century.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure, Cllr Carolyn Heaps said “The collection, at the award winning art museum is an asset to Eastbourne.
It is fantastic to hear that more works will be unveiled in portraiture form, giving the collection
a dynamic appeal.”

The entire collection will also soon be online, as a public resource for all to enjoy, so anyone
anywhere can access it even if they can’t make it to the gallery.

The portrait collection will be on display from 23 March – 6 October.

Inset image: Kitty, the artist’s sister’ oil on canvas 1929 by David Bomberg