All of the works in this exhibition were all part of the collection at Boxted House in Essex, which was the home of Bobby and Natalie Bevan from 1946 until 2001.
Bobby was the son of the Camden Town painter Robert Polhill Bevan (1865–1925), and inherited a significant group of his father’s paintings, drawings and prints. These formed the corpus of the show, and included dazzling Post-Impressionist landscapes painted in Devon, Sussex and Poland, exceptionally rare hunting lithographs, and Bevan’s characteristic studies of horses. At Boxted, Bobby added works by artists he or Natalie were friends with, and so also exhibited at The Fine Art Society are pictures by Augustus John, Arthur Lett Haines and C.R.W. Nevinson, the last of whom Natalie had accompanied on a painting expedition to France in 1928. Robert Bevan himself had been able to acquire works by his fellow Camden Town Group members Spencer Gore, Harold Gilman and Charles Ginner, and so also included in the show was a characteristically ‘dotted and dashed’ Van Gogh-influenced landscape drawing by Gilman and an exuberant canvas of boating at Richmond on the eve of the Great War by Gore.
The Boxted Collection was of high merit and importance and this was recognised by the largescale exhibition that was staged at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh in 2008, and which afterwards travelled to Brighton Art Gallery – the town of Bevan’s birth – and Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury. Several works were acquired subsequently by museums, including the Tate, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, National Portrait Gallery and Brighton Art Gallery.