Object of the Week:
Mary & Pete (1948) by Anthony Gross
British printmaker, painter, war artist and film director Anthony Gross painted this picture of his children Mary and Pete in their Chelsea garden in 1948. Mary recently visited the Garden Museum to see the painting in person for the first time in years, and shared the story behind it:
“It was painted in 1948 when we lived in Old Church Street, Chelsea from 1945 to 1958. We seem bored with posing and would prefer playing with our toys and swinging on the swing hanging on a branch of the pear tree. It was spectacular when in blossom in spring and seemed to invade the house. In fact, it influenced the short story ‘Bliss’ by Katherine Mansfield written by her in 1918 when she was living two doors down from our house. A few words about my green fabric horse seen in our toy box: he was my favourite toy and I adored him and ever since green has been my favourite colour, but I cannot remember his name…!”
This painting was acquired for the Garden Museum Collection through the HLF Collecting Cultures scheme.