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MORLEY BURY (1919 – 1999)

“Le Jardin Publique”

Oil Painting on Canvas. 30” x 40” (762 x 1016mm)

Signed with monogram and dated ’65 (1965)

Titled on reverse.                                                                                                                 IMAGE



Morley Bury was a painter in oil and was also a teacher. He was born in Bournemouth and christened John Morley Bury.  He grew up in Holdenhurst and “made up my mind to be an artist while I was still at the village school.”  After Bournemouth School he attended Bournemouth Municipal College of Art from 1937 to 1939, where his teacher Johnny Walker was a strong influence.  He then attended Reading University from 1939 to 1940.  He spent six years in the Army, with a tank regiment in the Western Desert and was then a prisoner of war in Italy and Germany, being freed by Russian troops and repatriated.  After the war Bury returned to Reading University, where he met his wife, art historian Shirley Bury.  He also attended Regent Street Polytechnic and Goldsmiths College as well as studying textiles at evening classes at the Central School of Arts and Crafts.  He also attended a course of lectures at the Courtauld Institute.  He taught part time at Emanuel School, Wandsworth, from 1948 to 1958 and then part time at Hornsey College of Art until retirement in 1984.  Mixed shows included the New English Art Club in 1950; the London Group and Daily Express Young Artists, both in 1954; Vision and Reality, Wakefield City Art Gallery in 1957; 3 Artists, South London Art Gallery in 1961; Centaur Gallery, 1970 and the Forgotten Fifties, Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield and tour 1984.  Bury also showed with AIA, Hampstead Artists’ Council, Heal’s Mansard Gallery and Everyman Foyer, Hampstead where he had a series of solo exhibitions from 1960.  Public collections include the Victoria and Albert Museum, Salford Art Gallery, Nuffield Foundation and various education committees, plus Cambridge University, and corporate collections include Staveley Industries, Lintas and Rank Xerox.  The Tate Gallery archive holds Bury’s self-portrait.  His interest in figure subjects in the 1950s changed to landscape in the 1960s, landscapes “not real but a collection of seen ideas.  Gradually texture of the paint became more important.”  He wrote that “studies in the organisation of colour relationships and the optical qualities which create a sense of space” were important to him.  He lived in London.