Albert Wainwright at The Hepworth

Family of Man

Family of Man by Barbara Hepworth outside The Hepworth, Wakefield

After spending some time admiring the Tissot display I decided to move on and see what else the Gallery had on show this autumn beside the spaces devoted to Barbara Hepworth herself.

Hepworth Winged Figure

In the background Hepworth’s Winged Figure (1961-62)

I found another display centred on works from The Wakefield Art Collection – In Focus : Albert Wainwright. Wainwright was born in nearby Castleford in 1898. At the time of writing, the link to his display at The Hepworth tells you about a different so artist so here is something about him.

From his school days he was a friend of Henry Moore, who became world famous as a sculptor. Albert’s life was not a long one (he was only 45 when he died) and he never became famous like his friend, but it is easy to see from his work that he was a talented artist with a colourful imagination and a strong personal style. Throughout his life he designed programmes, stage sets and costumes for the theatre and an impressive range of this work is now in the collection at The Hepworth Wakefield.

Over 30 years Albert created a number of sketchbooks which record his travels abroad and parts of his life, such as his time with the Flying Corps in the First World War.”

AW Sketchbooks

I particularly liked the travel ‘journals’ or sketchbooks which he made on his trips to Germany.

Whitby map

His Map of Whitby

Where's Albert?

And his “Where’s Wally” or rather, Albert, at “Robin’s Hood Bay” (1930)

“The Wainwright faamily took a summer home at Robin Hood’s Bay during the 1930s. Visits to the bay became an annual occasion for the Wainwrights, who became part of the close-knit community there. Wainwright made a modest income from painting his fellow holidaymakers and their families. In this picture all are imaginary except a self-portrait of the artist centre left, wearing glasses and carrying a walking stick.” [Picture notes]

There's Albert

There’s Albert!

We don't live here any more

And, the poignant and wistful “We don’t live here any more” (1937)

This painting depicts the view from the window (possibly his studio) of Bramley Cottage at Robin Hood’s Bay. “The placement of the book on the table “Strange Brother” written 1931 by Blair Niles, is significant because it provides an early and objective documentation of homosexual issues in 1920s New York, and is a deliberate allusion to Wainwright’s own sexual identity.” [Picture notes]

There is a selection of books on a table for visitors to look at including a reprinted copy of “Strange Brother“.