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Sorting the Laundry

Sir Stanley Spencer, CBE, RA (Cookham 1891– Cliveden 1959)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1927

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

1054 x 1854 mm (41 1/2 x 73 in)

Place of origin

Hampstead

Order this image

Collection

Sandham Memorial Chapel, Hampshire

On show at

Sandham Memorial Chapel, Hampshire, London and South East, National Trust

NT 790181

Caption

The Laundry at Beaufort was a space where Spencer found respite from unwelcome chores. In this cheerful scene a nurse supervises orderlies who sort through bags of laundry, including towels, jackets and sheets. A giant pile of white sheets builds up against the wall – a second pile, of spotted red handkerchiefs belonging to the permanent inmates from the asylum at Beaufort, reminds the viewer of the hospital’s dual purpose during the war.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Sorting the Laundry by Sir Stanley Spencer, CBE, RA (Cookham 1891– Cliveden 1959), 1927/32. This is another domestic scene, much more cheerful than some of the preceding ones. The supervisor this time is a nurse in a clean, crisp uniform rather than a bullying NCO, and the happier spirit is reflected in the bustle of activity. The spotted hankerchiefs belonged to inmates of Beaufort which was a lunatic asylum taken over by the military.

Provenance

Given with the chapel by John Louis Behrend (1881- 1972) and Mary Sandham Behrend (1884 - 1977), 1947

Makers and roles

Sir Stanley Spencer, CBE, RA (Cookham 1891– Cliveden 1959), artist

Exhibition history

Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War, Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester, 2013 - 2015 Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War, Somerset House, London, 2013 - 2015 Stanley Spencer: Heaven in a Hell of War, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, 2013 - 2015

References

Bell 1992 Keith Bell, Stanley Spencer, A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, Phaidon Press, London 1992, p.421 Stanley Spencer (ed. Keith Bell), Royal Academy of Arts, London with Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980, p.106 Behrend 1965 George Behrend, Stanley Spencer at Burghclere, London, MacDonald, 1965, p.8 Pople 1991 Kenneth Pople, Stanley Spencer: A Biography, Harper Collins London, 1991, p.96-97,122 Gough 2006 Paul Gough, Stanley Spencer: Journey to Burghclere, Samson & Company, Bristol, 2006, p.124-126

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