One of our recent purchases has been an original etching by Robin Tanner of Kington Langley. We have mentioned him in our previous post ‘A Taste of What’s to Come’ https://creativewiltshire.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/a-taste-of-whats-to-come/ with the hope that we could acquire some of his work for the Wiltshire & Swindon Local Studies Photograph and Print Collection… We struck it lucky!
This etching is entitled ‘Harvest Festival’ and is of a church interior (ref: P55366), although we cannot be certain it is a Wiltshire Church. However, what we can be certain of is that it was used in Robin and his wife Heather’s publication Wiltshire Village, first published in 1939 and which describes the customs and life of a typical village in the county and some of the characters within; a fascinating piece of social history. A reprinted version of the book is available at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre Local Studies Library, ref: AAA.910.
We have also managed to acquire one of Robin’s sketches for Chippenham Heritage Museum, similar to some of his etchings and a beautiful example of preparatory work, the beginning of a creative process. Both will be on show at the museum in spring 2016 when an exhibition will highlight his work and life.
Robin was not only a unique etcher; he was also influential in bringing art and creativity to the school curriculum and environment with his pioneering work at Ivy Lane School, Chippenham, in the 1930s and later as HM Inspector of schools. We are delighted to give examples of his work a home here at the History Centre and at Chippenham Heritage Museum to enable easier access to the creativity that touched the lives of so many local people.