Nine pictures by two members of the Benton End group, Lucy Harwood and Allan Walton, will go under the hammer at the Cheffins Art & Design Sale on Thursday 24th February.

The pictures have been held in a private collection in London and the sale will coincide with the opening of the exhibition at the Firstsite gallery in Colchester - ‘Life with Art: Benton End and the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing,’ which explores the lives and works of the alumni of Benton End.  

'Bathers' by Allan Walton, available at the Cheffins Art & Design sale on 24th February - estimate £300 - £500

The Benton End group, known as The East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, was founded by Cedric Morris and his partner, Arthur Lett-Haines in 1937. Initially located in Dedham, Essex, the school was moved to a 16th century farmhouse, near Hadleigh in Suffolk called Benton End in 1938. It was here that the school was run for some 40 years and is said to have had a hand in fostering the talents of some of the most highly regarded painters of post war Britain, including Lucian Freud and Maggi Hambling. Benton End quickly became a sanctuary for “artists outside the system” and offered a space for students to both live and work. Morris and Lett-Haines promoted the exchange of artistic ideas and techniques, and took a free rein approach to teaching, which was poles apart from the more formal and structured training offered by most academies at the time. Quickly, Benton End became an established community, with artists, horticulturalists and writers heading to Suffolk, with famous alumni including the likes of Frances Hodgkins, David Carr, Richard Chopping and Valerie Thornton.

'Still life with Paper Whites' by Lucy Harwood, available at the Cheffins Art & Design sale on 24th February - estimate £300 - £500

Lucy Harwood was one of the first artists to join the group in 1937, aged 43, and was one of the school’s longest serving students. She was regarded as a Benton End institution, according to Maggi Hambling, and was a fierce individualist. Allan Walton, perhaps best known as one of the leading textile designers of the 20th century, joined the group at the outbreak of the Second World War and made frequent visits to the school and on occaision even taught there. 

The pictures to be sold by Cheffins include five works by Allan Walton and four by Lucy Harwood, with estimates ranging from £150 to £600. These include landscapes, still lifes and portraits, with one of the highlights being “Still Life with Paper Whites” by Lucy Harwood, which comes from the Cedric Morris estate and has an estimate of £300 - £500.

'Portrait of a boy by a window' by Lucy Harwood, available at the Cheffins Art & Design sale on 24th February - estimate £400 - £600

Auction: The Art & Design Sale – Thursday 24th February 2022   
Location: Cheffins, Clifton House, 1-2 Clifton Road, Cambridge, UK, CB1 7EA

For further information contact the Fine Art Department on 01223 213343,