William Roberts (1895 - 1980):
Portrait of May Berry, 1933
Framed (ref: 9601)
May Berry was probably the Mrs Berry who sold Roberts’s oil The Park Bench through Sotheby’s on 6 April 1960 and the wife of the ‘Joe Berry’ mentioned in a notebook of Roberts’s son's as ‘A civil servant, no children, which enabled him to collect modern firsts, signed and limited … His books lined a wall and more of his flat overlooking the Thames. We went over to see the Boat Race from his windows … The Berrys visited Haverstock Hill [where the Robertses lived in 1929–35]. After tea in the garden, S[arah Roberts] and Mrs B went up to prepare supper, Berry and WR were discussing politics.’ ‘Joe Berry’ would appear to have been the nickname of Arthur Edwin Berry, who in 1922 passed the Civil Service ‘Clerical Class (Men)’ examination and was employed at the Inland Revenue and, according to electoral registers, in the early 1930s was living at 58 Upper Mall – overlooking the Thames at Hammersmith – with May Berry.
The Berrys were evidently living at 58 Upper Mall at the time when Eric Ravilious and Tirzah Garwood were living at no. 48,
We are grateful to Bob Davenport for the above note and to Simon Lawrence for assistance
Illustration © The Estate of John David Roberts. Reproduced with the permission of the William Roberts Society. Catalogue information based on the catalogue raisonné by David Cleall. For this and full details of the exhibitions cited, see the links below.