Rex Whistler: A Talent Cut Short
The paintings and archive of a most versatile artist
Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum (24th May – 29 September 2013)
This exhibition is the latest in Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum’s series of shows exploring the work of significant British artists with links to the locality.
It embraces Whistler’s whole career and artistic development and has a special emphasis on his Wiltshire connections.
Rex Whistler (1905-44) was a prominent and prolific twentieth century artist on the British scene between the wars. A prodigious worker, he produced enchanting and important mural cycles, stage designs and book illustrations, as well as portraits, designs for the decorative arts and commercial material. At the outbreak of war, he joined the Welsh Guards, training as a tank commander on Salisbury Plain, 1941-4. Tragically, he was killed on his first day of action in Normandy, in 1944.
Rex Whistler leased Walton Canonry in Salisbury Cathedral Close, sometimes known as Whistler House, a few doors from Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum. He spent much time, at nearby Wilton House, whose architectural features inspired much of his work, with his close friend, Edith Olivier, at Daye House, at Mottisfont Abbey, near Romsey, where he created magnificent trompe l’oeil designs and at Ashcombe with Cecil Beaton and his friends.