Private Collection

Dunbar, Evelyn

(1906 – 1960)

Joseph's Dream, 1938

Oil on canvas

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
Cambridge County Council;Chefiins Auction House; Private Collection

Biblical illustration, particularly of subjects from Genesis, is a fairly common theme in Dunbar’s work. Here Joseph, the favourite son of his father Jacob, is experiencing two dreams. On the left, sheaves of wheat representing his parents and his 11 older brothers, are  about to bow down before him. On the right, the sun and moon and 11 stars symbolise the same obeisance. He became deeply unpopular within his family, but eventually the dreams turned out to be well founded. The finished Joseph’s Dream became the first in Dunbar’s Joseph trilogy, the others being Joseph in the Pit and Joseph in Prison. 

We are grateful to Christopher Campbell-Howes, author of Evelyn Dunbar: A Life in Painting, Romarin, 2016

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THE ARTIST

Dunbar, Evelyn

1906 – 1960

Evelyn Dunbar studied at Rochester School of Art, Chelsea School
of Art (1927) and the Royal College of Art (1929’33). She painted
murals from 1933 -36 at Brockley School, a collaboration with her
RCA tutor (and lover) Cyril Mahoney (1903’1968) and in 1937
they wrote and illustrated together Gardeners’ Choice. 

In 1938 she set up the Blue Gallery in Rochester, exhibiting her
own work alongside that of Edward Bawden (1903’1989) and
Barnett Freedman (1901’1958) and others. In 1940 she was
appointed an official war artist, becoming the only woman (amongst
36 men) to be given a full time salaried position by the WAAC. 

She held her only solo exhibition at Withersdane, Wye, Kent
in 1953, although the WAAC included numerous pieces in touring
exhibitions ranging from Aberdeen Art Gallery to MOMA, New York. 

A posthumous exhibition was held in 2006 at St Barbe
Museum and Art Gallery, and in 2015 Liss Llewellyn mounted a
major retrospective of her recently rediscovered studio at Pallant
House Gallery. 

MORE PICTURES BY ARTIST

Evelyn Dunbar
Study for July, Gardeners Diary 1938, 1937
£1,850.00
Evelyn Dunbar
Studies for Mercatora, an allegorical painting (whereabouts unknown) [HMO 173]
£2,500.00
Evelyn Dunbar
Colour study for sub-gallery spandrels at Brockley County School for Boys [HMO 551]
£2,350.00
Evelyn Dunbar
Portrait of the artist Margaret Goodwin
£2,950.00