Sir Cedric Morris, Bt

David and Barbara Carr


Not on display

Sir Cedric Morris, Bt 1889–1982
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1003 × 746 mm
Purchased 1981

Display caption

In 1937 Cedric Morris and his partner Arthur Lett-Haines opened their own private art school at Dedham in Essex, which they called The East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing. The school provided its students with an atmosphere of freedom, dedication and enthusiasm. David Carr and Barbara Gilligan were both students at this art school when they sat for this joint portrait. They married later. David Carr was a painter and sculptor and Barbara was a painter. Morris has presented these two friends in an unusual composition and has enjoyed painting the textures of their woollen jumpers.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry


Not inscribed
Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 × 29 5/16 (100.3 × 74.5)

Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) 1981

Exh: Sir Cedric Morris Portraits 1919–1974, The Minories, Colchester, October–November 1974 (30); Cedric Morris, Tate Gallery, March–May 1984 (68, repr.) and tour to Barnard Castle, Cardiff and Colchester

Cedric Morris painted two portraits of David Carr. The other (oil on canvas, 21 × 17in., private collection) is inscribed on the reverse ‘-41 CM’. As in the Tate's painting David Carr is wearing a fisherman's jersey and is shown in three-quarter profile, head and shoulders only, but looking in the opposite direction.

Barbara Carr has always painted under her maiden name, Barbara Gilligan. She had an exhibition at the Leicester Galleries in 1948. She became a student at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing when it was at Dedham. She first met David Carr just before the School moved to Benton End and confirms that both pictures were painted there from life. She and David Carr married towards the end of the war; although the Tate's painting is earlier than this, the title given by Cedric Morris has been retained.

The painter and sculptor David Carr was born in 1915. In 1956 he was a co-founder of the Norfolk Contemporary Art Society. He died in 1968 and had a posthumous exhibition at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York, in March 1969 (reviewed Art International, XIII/5, 20 May 1969, page 38. His late work is also described and illustrated in Brian Reade, ‘Space Mid-Manhattan’, in Art and Artists, IV, November 1969, pp.34–5). Appreciations of David Carr are published in the catalogue of his memorial retrospective at the Castle Museum, Norwich, January 1972.

Barbara Carr considers that while both Morris's portraits of David Carr are admirable paintings they are unusual among Morris's portraits in giving a false idea of the personality of the sitter.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984

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