Morley College began its art collection in the late 1950s after the rebuilding of the College was completed. The majority of the original building was destroyed when it suffered a direct hit in the Blitz during the Second World War.
The collection includes murals by John Piper, Edward Bawden and Martin Froy in addition to works by Bridget Riley, Maggi Hambling, Oskar Kokoschka, Ruskin Spear, Lawrence Toynbee and others. The collection is still being added to, the most recent acquisition being ‘The Thames from Kew, October, Tide Rising 2008’ by artist and Morley tutor Jane Joseph.
Have a gander at our ‘online’ art collection in its entirety from the comfort of your home or appreciate a few selections we’ve pictured below.
The Morley College Mural, 1973
Bridget Riley (1931-)
Acrylics on canvas, 211 x 317.5cm
Bridget Riley CH CBE is an English painter and one of the foremost exponents of Op Art. She was born in London and studied at Goldsmiths’ College and at the Royal College of Art 1952-1955. In 1960 she evolved a style in which she explored the dynamic potentials of optical phenomena. These Op Art pieces produce a disorientating physical effect on the eye. Riley has exhibited internationally, won major awards, created murals for major art institutions including the Tate and the National Gallery and written about artists. In 1968, Riley represented Great Britain in the Venice Biennale, where she was the first British contemporary painter, and the first woman, to be awarded the International Prize for painting. Riley’s work is held by major collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Morley College Mural was commissioned by Barry Till (Morley Principal 1965-86). Riley was given a brief to produce a work to fit a space in the new Queen Elizabeth II entrance to the College and it was installed for the official opening of the new extension by the Queen on the 10 December 1973.
Located in the Main Reception of our Waterloo centre.
The Thames from Kew, October, Tide Rising, 2008
Jane Joseph (1942-)
Charcoal and chalk, 65 x 102cm
Jane Joseph is a painter, printmaker and teacher. She was born in Surrey and studied at Camberwell School of Art. She has taught at Wimbledon School of Art and Morley College, London for many years. Joseph has exhibited regularly since 1973 and her work is included in collections including The National Art Library (V&A Museum), The British Library, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and Yale Center for British Art, Connecticut. In 1999 The Folio Society commissioned her to make etchings to accompany ‘If This is a Man’ by Primo Levi followed by ‘The Truce’ in 2001. These prints contribute to a substantial body of work in small black and white etchings and large charcoal drawings. Other publications include ‘A Little Flora of Common Plants’ and ‘Seeds & Fruits’, both with text by Mel Gooding and ‘Kinderszenen’ with poems by Anthony Rudolf.
Boys in the Hood
Denzil Forrester (b. 1956)
Denzil Forrester’s work is rich, complex and highly sophisticated. The strength of his draftmanship and his extraordinary use of colour enable him to bring to his canvasses dynamic movement, and purposeful power. London’s urban life is his main source of inspiration. The music which permeates his work comes from the West Indies; the range of iridescent colours into which he translates the music has been evoked by the light and colour of Italy. Forrester has been painting at his London based studio for the past 30 years.