Christmas Card by Mary Adshead and Stephen Bone

Christmas Card by Mary Adshead and Stephen Bone (1904–1995, 1904–1958) 1935

Tate Archive TGA 8314
© The estate of Adshead and Bone/Tate Archive

 To represent our acquisitions from 1983, I have decided upon this exquisite little Christmas card, designed by artists, Mary Adshead and Stephen Bone. I find this item interesting as it is a cooperative piece by a married couple, and one of the highlights from the Goupil Gallery and Marchant family collection, TGA 8314.

Christmas Card by Mary Adshead and Stephen Bone 2

Christmas Card by Mary Adshead and Stephen Bone (1904–1995, 1904–1958) 1935

Tate Archive TGA 8314
© The estate of Adshead and Bone/Tate Archive

Mary Adshead, better known as a mural painter, and Stephen Bone, painter, author, and broadcaster, both studied at the Slade under Henry Tonks, and, although they hardly knew each other during their time there, they married in 1929. This card, dated 1935, is a series of six prints, signed by the artists, depicting a beautiful, festive scene. It is one of three from Adshead and Bone and forms part of a larger series of illustrated correspondence from artists such as Goerge Clausen, Eric Gill, Gilbert Spencer, and Phillip Willson Steer to the Marchant family. TGA 8314 is split into three series: the papers of the London branch of the Goupil Gallery, TGA 8314/1; papers of the Marchant Family, TGA 8314/2; and a series of papers relating to both the New English Art Club and the Art Exhibition Bureau, TGA 8314/3. I feel it is imperative to highlight the importance of this collection as it is a valuable resource for anyone interested the Marchant family and their management of the Goupil Gallery in London. Our archive also boasts a collection of scrap albums, TGA 739, relating to the Goupil Gallery in London. These include exhibition catalogues, prices of artworks exhibited, press cuttings and photographs. This item exemplifies the close relationship between artist and gallery. Do you feel that this continued tradition of artists represented by galleries is good for the art world? Or would it be healthier if more artists, or artists collectives’ embarked on ‘do it yourself’ exhibitions, such as Damien Hirst’s Freeze exhibition of 1988?

TGA 8314

Written by Andrew Neilson