Letters, drawings and a sketchbook from John Banting to Humphrey Spender

[1930s–1960s]

collection owner: John Humphrey Spender, ‘Letters, drawings and a sketchbook from John Banting to Humphrey Spender’ [1930s–1960s]

This collection consists of material sent from John Banting to the photographer and Mass Observation researcher, Humphrey Spender. The correspondence in this collection spans the period from the early 1930s to circa. 1970. Many of these letters are illustrated and decorated by John Banting. Meanwhile the sketchbook appears to cover a period before John Banting's solo exhibition at the Storran Gallery in 1938 and includes drawings of unidentified individuals who may have been friends of Banting at this time, as well as numerous sketches of natural and abstract or surreal forms. Items of correspondence, also contained within this collection, suggest that Spender may have taken this sketchbook to work on when staying in the Spender's cottage in Sussex.

Collection Owner
John Humphrey Spender 1910–2005
Collection
Tate Archive
Acquisition
This collection was presented to the Tate Archive by Humphrey Spender in 1997.
Reference
TGA 9717

36 objects in this collection

Title
Correspondence, loose sketches and proof prints from John Banting to Humphrey Spender
Date
1932–[c1970]
Description
The correspondence in this series spans the period from the early 1930s to c 1970, with the majority of correspondence dating from c 1936-1940. Many of the letters are written on the back of proof prints of work by John Banting. Many are also illustrated and decorated by hand, and reveal reflections by Banting on his own art practice, his friends and lovers, as well as mention of is mother and father, who it appears were unwell during the late 1930s. Two of the letters also make reference to his visit to Spain with Nancy Cunard, towards the end of the Spainish Civil War.

Also included are two sheets of original drawings by John Banting (TGA 9717/1/2, TGA 9717/1/3), which appear to be studies towards a portrait of Humphrey Spender. The portrait, and a similar one that Banting undertook of Humphrey Spender's first wife, Margaret Low, are referred to in the letters.
Reference
TGA 9717/1

Showing 120 of 35 objects

John Banting, recipient: John Humphrey Spender Postcard from John Banting to Humphrey Spender

[1 December 1938]

John Banting, recipient: John Humphrey Spender Note from John Banting to Humphrey Spencer

[c.1938–9]