Fairlynch has around 400 sketches, drawings, original paintings and prints of local significance or by local artists. Many were collected by the Museum’s co-founder, the late Priscilla Hull, who ran an art gallery from Abele Tree House, her home on Budleigh’s Fore Street. Provided that funds are available, we hope to restore and frame the most noteworthy items.
Pictured is ‘Family on the Beach’ by the artist and writer Joyce Dennys (1893-1991) who lived for many years in Budleigh Salterton as the wife of the local GP Dr Tom Evans. A number of her paintings can be seen at Fairlynch, on loan from Budleigh Salterton Town Council.
2014 saw the Museum working with local primary schools on a World War One-related art project. Pupils’ paintings, inspired by what they had learnt at school about the 1914-18 conflict, were used to create specially designed deckchairs.
This deckchair was based on a design by eleven-year-old Ieuan, a pupil at St Peter’s Church of England Primary School in Budleigh Salterton.
Journalist Kate Adie, a speaker at Budleigh’s Literary Festival, was impressed by the deckchairs. The project was supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
This portrait by Joyce Dennys of VAD Nurse Whittaker was kindly donated to Fairlynch by a Budleigh Salterton resident. It was a welcome acquisition for our WW1 centenary display.
Joyce Dennys herself served as a VAD nurse, and produced this celebrated recruitment poster. The original is part of the IWM collection, as is the equally well known WRNS recruitment poster.
In 2015 a major programme of re-cataloguing the Museum’s art collection was launched. This portrait in oil by Agnes Vye Parminter (c.1836-1915) was of great interest to our Costume Department because of its detailed depiction of lace. The artist is recorded in the 1891 census as living in Glamorgan. Two of her paintings — of James Rogers JP, Mayor of Swansea, and of Howel Gwyn, Mayor of Neath — are listed by the Public Catalogue Foundation www.thepcf.org.uk
Joyce Dennys provided the theme for some of Fairlynch’s 2016 exhibitions. This time deckchairs were used to show off details from some of her paintings.
Another ‘find’ was this painting of Place Court, Colaton Raleigh, by the English artist and garden designer Alfred William Parsons RA (1847-1920). The work was of special interest as Place Court is held by some to be where Sir Walter Ralegh was baptised.
A small group of amateur artists is engaged in depicting objects at Fairlynch, some of which have rarely been exhibited in public. The group, usually consisting of five or six people, has met monthly. On each occasion two or three objects from the collections have been selected and a ‘still life’ has been set up in the Exhibition Room.