Digs at Ambleside, c.1940
Framed (ref: 2487)
Watercolour over pencil with highlights in pen and ink
18 1/2 x 11 3/4 in. (47 x 30 cm)
Provenance: the Artist's Estate
Exhibited: WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Morley College London, 28 October -23 November 2016, cat 145.
Literature: WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2016, cat 145, page 186.
In a flat section pitch pine frame with brown inner and outer mouldings.
In late 1940 the Royal College of Art was evacuated to Ambleside in the
Lake District; Mahoney and Percy Horton were among the male staff. The
students were housed in two hotels, men at The Queens and women at The
Salutation; Mahoney was resident master in charge at the menís hostel.
Whilst at Ambleside, Mahoney became engaged to Dorothy Bishop, a
calligraphy tutor from the Design School of the Royal College of Art.
They were married in September 1941. For a fuller account of this
period see biographical essay, pp and The Artist as Evacuee, The Royal
College of Art in the Lake District, 1940-45, Dove Cottage and the
Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere 1987.
In spite of requisitioning two hotels, conditions for the Royal College
of Art students were cramped. The majority of space was required for
accommodation leaving precious little room for the studios which were
mostly set up in lower rooms and suffered from lack of light.
Charles Mahoney (1903-1968)
In his memoir Since 50, Men & Memories 1922-1938 (New York,1940, p. 236) the first two names that appear on William Rothenstein list of top Royal College of Art students were Henry Moore and Charles Mahoney - the list continues with the names of luminaries such as Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, Barnett Freedman Edward Le Bas, and Evelyn Dunbar. The process of reassuring Mahoney's place in 20th century British Art has had several important milestones including the 1975 Ashmolean exhibition, the Liss Fine Art/Fine Art Society touring show (2000) and Mahoney's predominant feature in Tate Britain's The Art of the Garden, (2005) - but the process of reassessment still has a long way to go.
Painter, muralist, draughtsman and teacher. Born Cyril Mahoney in London - his fellow-student Barnett Freedman re-christened him Charlie at the Royal College of Art, which he attended 1922-6 after a period at Beckenham School of Art under Percy Jowett.
Early on, Mahoney established a reputation as a conscientious teacher. He was at the Royal College 1928-53, from 1948-53 as a painting tutor, and was noted there for his concern for academic discipline. His portrait is included in Rodrigo Moynihan's celebrated Teaching Staff of the Painting School at the Royal College of Art, 1949-50. From 1954 to 1963 he taught at the Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting and from 1961 to 1968 at the Royal Academy Schools. He painted murals at Morley College 1928-30 with his colleagues Eric Ravillious and Edward Bawden. Unfortunately these murals were destroyed during World War II. The work led to further murals: at Brockley School, Kent, with Evelyn Dunbar; and at Campion Hall Lady Chapel, Oxford. His oil paintings are frequently of a religious nature. He was a skilled botanist, and many of his drawings depict his garden at Wrotham, Kent. He exhibited at NEAC and the RA, being made an RA elect in 1968. He is represented in the Tate Gallery and other public collections. The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, held a memorial exhibition in 1975. Exhibitions were held in 2000 at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, Royal Museum and Art Gallery, Canterbury, and the Fine Art Society plc in association with Liss Fine Art.
See all works by Charles Mahoney