Was it the same Kurt Schwitters, founder of Merz, collaborator with Dadaists, Cubists and Constructivists, who won first, second and third prizes in the 1946 Ambleside flower show art competition? 

Kurt Schwitters, 'Painted Stone' 1945-7

Kurt Schwitters
Painted Stone 1945-7
Painted stone
object: 35 x 80 x 313 mm
Lent by Geoff Thomas 1991© DACS, 2002

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Somehow, it seems strange to think of one of the influential voices of modernism living in the Lake District, but actually Kurt Schwitters moved to Ambleside after the Second World War with his companion Edith ‘Wantee’ Thomas (so-named for her habit of asking Schwitters if he wanted tea). His health was already fragile and he died there two years later, in Kendal in 1948.

Schwitters continued to work during these years and stayed true to his style of using objects discarded around him, such as bus tickets, sweet wrappers and as here, natural items such as stones. 

You can find out more about Kurt Schwitters’ influential time in the UK at Tate Britain’s new exhibition Schwitters in Britain, which opens this week on 30 January 2013.