A celebration of Leonard Squirrel’s long career, this exhibition includes four recently acquired pictures of East Anglia. The collection will be on display until January 2017.
Squirrell was born and grew up in Ipswich. At the age of 15 he started at Ipswich School of Art and went on to win a gold medal in the National Competition for Schools of Art with his set of drawings. He attended the Slade School of Art under Philip Wilson Steer and Professor Henry Tonks.
In 1929 he took a job etching at Ipswich Art School and stayed until 1940. Watercolour and etching were his favourite media. He would create sketches out of doors, marking them with copious notes on colour, composition and lighting. These sketches then formed the basis to create finished pictures in his studio. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy and the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours and for 67 years with the Ipswich Art Club.
Squirrell was prolific in his output and was commissioned to illustrate books, produce railway carriage images, and calendars for companies. He even produced two books Landscape Painting in Pastel (1947) and Practice in Watercolour (1950).
In 1978 the Ipswich Art Club organised a major retrospective of Squirrell’s work in the Wolsey Art Gallery and he described Christchurch Mansion as an ‘elegant setting’ for his work. This display highlights the range of Squirrell’s work and in all media.
The Ipswich collection has up to 100 artworks by Squirrell and the first part of the display will be changed after six months to show a larger number of these pictures.