Norman Thelwell - An illustrated talk by Tim Craven

Date: 20 Oct 2021
Time: 19:00 - 21:00
Marlborough Town Hall
Book: Book now
Price: Standard fee: £15.00, Friends of MH fee: £12.00
Norman Thelwell (1923 - 2004): celebrated cartoonist and artist. An illustrated talk by Tim Craven

In 2001 providence connected Tim Craven, Curator, Southampton City Art Gallery, with almost the entire output of Norman Thelwell’s artistic career. This resulted in a major and hugely popular exhibition (Thelwell Country: Seventy Years of Norman Thelwell) co-curated with The Cartoon Art Trust and staged at Southampton in 2003 before touring to London, Birkenhead (Thelwell’s birthplace), Newmarket, and Exeter. Through Craven’s auspices further exhibitions were staged at St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, Lymington, and Mottisfont Abbey NT (x2) where he gave a talk on the artist in January 2018.
Tim Craven’s hour long illustrated talk traces the life, passions and artistic development of Norman Thelwell from his early years and formative wartime experiences to his subsequent rise to become one of the nation’s best known and loved cartoonists of his era. Thelwell produced 1,500 cartoons and 60 front covers for the famed Punch magazine alone and some 32 books translated into a dozen different languages. Due to his consummate draughtsmanship and contrary to prevailing trends in cartoons of the time, his works were full of beautifully observed detail and mainly of rural subjects, including country and leisure pursuits, sport, house sales and renovation, stately homes, gardening and sailing. Thelwell was an early and passionate campaigner for the environment and his many cartoons of factory farming, the destruction of habitat and pollution came together in his 1971 publication, The Effluent Society.
Thelwell’s international fame though was perhaps boosted by his most iconic and instantly recognised subject of small, fat, hairy ponies ridden at full-tilt by alarming young ladies. Indeed the term Thelwell pony is now part of the English language. His greatest love though was for his “serious” watercolour landscapes, a medium of which he was a true master. Craven contextualises his art historical influences: the Romantic Movement and picturesque in general and JMW Turner, John Sell Cotman and Roland Hilder in particular. Thelwell’s distinctive and evocative paintings reflected his profound love for the English countryside.

Doors open 6:45pm.  Tickets £15  (£12 for Friends of The Merchant's House). Please present your email confirmation on entry.

Address: Assembly Room, Town Hall , Marlborough, SN8 1AA