Claughton Pellew exhibition at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

We were in Norwich for a day after visiting my sister who lives nearby and discovered this post WW1 artist some of whose work had just gone on temporary exhibition in the galleries  devoted to artists with Norfolk connections (Crome , Cotman) . His full name was Claughton Pellew – Harvey and he lived from 1890 to 1966 . The most detail on his life and work I have found online at   .

Here are some of his works that we saw :

m&chcp-h This was what I first saw at a distance and it pulled me into the room . It is actually a watercolour , “Mother & Child” (and much more orange overall) from 1920 although it is very similar in style to his wood engravings and there was one based on this hung on the other side of the only oil painting ;


Pellew-Harvey, Claughton; View from the Studio; Norfolk Museums Service;

View from the Studio 1930

He didn’t seem to have done many oils , favouring pen-and-ink with watercolour washes . His wood engravings are wonderful eg The Entombment .

?the entombmentcp-h

The exhibition was mostly of his prints and included an original wooden plate to show off his technique . I love woodcuts anyway but had not seen work of this emotional intensity done in the medium before . I did not find his work ‘romantic’ which term I think was used because so much of it is spiritually inspired . He was a Roman Catholic convert and conscientious objector to military service in WW1. Apparently there were enough of them to have their own organisation . Perhaps his religious reasons prevented his Slade friends in the process of becoming ‘The Bloomsbury group’ from having much sympathy . He actually spent time in Dartmoor when many of his more famous ‘conchie’ contemporaries were never imprisoned anywhere !

His wife Emma – Marie Tennent or ‘Kechie’ was also ex-Slade and primarily a wood engraver . Unusually there are 2 examples of her work on exhibition as well – but not enough for me to have an opinion . Her work was praised as being Japanese and Pre-Raphaelite in inspiration which I think could go for both . His work overall reminds me of Samuel Palmer in its feel (not technique) .

I don’t know how long the exhibition is on for because it does not say anywhere , not even on Norwich Castle Museum’s website . Apparently there is work of his also in Cambridge’s FitzWilliam Museum and Manchester City Art Gallery among others , but maybe not on display ?


About rukshanaafia

Ceramic & textile artist
This entry was posted in other artists, paintings, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Claughton Pellew exhibition at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

  1. dapherbs says:

    This was an amazing exhibition and a good showcase for a little known radical artist. almost surprised it was allowed given the “straight” nature of a lot of the exhibits in the Museum.

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