He Painted Letchworth Station in 1912

On canvas of course!

Spencer Frederick Gore, born in 1878, became a significant British painter heavily influenced by the post impressionists Pisarro, Sickert and Gilman. He was living in Gilman's house in Letchworth in 1912 when he painted a wide range of scenes in the vicinity.

Photo: NRM archives

'Letchworth Station' was bought by the National Railway Museum in 1984 with a contribution from the Friends.

The curatorial justification for the acquisition :-

The picture is an interesting historical document showing Letchworth and the station in the early years and also represents an important stage in the painter's development. The work moved Gore in a conceptual direction.

The colour is more arbitrary, with a startling brilliance of hue. He takes a modernist's delight in the unexpected scene, contrasting landscape with 'new town' the tough grass and distant country with the bright posters and clean cut lines of the station buildings. In the waiting passengers, we see a sample of 'garden city' - predominantly women whose long skirts and large hats seem curiously at odds with their surroundings.

Gore's death two years later deprived the nation of great talent.

Find out about Friends contributions here

By Frank Paterson

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