During the Michaelmas term a catalogue from amemorial exhibition held at Cheltenham Art Gallery in 1969 was given to the School Archive collection. The exhibition was in honour of past art master, Cedric Kennedy, who painted a number of the Headmasters’ portraits that hang in the dining hall. Kennedy worked at the School from 1938-1960, with a brief hiatus during the war.
The catalogue listed an exhibit entitled ‘Boys of Dean Close School 1945-1962’. After a little research we were able to track one of these drawings to an auction two years ago, and via the auction house, able to contact the owner.
Much to our surprise it turned out that rather than just one drawing the owner had a number of them and was willing to donate them to the School. Thanks to Mr Parkinson’s generosity the archive now holds approximately 29 drawings as well as a much better understanding of Kennedy’s life and his work.We did not realise until we met Mr Parkinson that Kennedy had been a pilot during the First World War with the Royal Flying Corp and, having been reported missing in 1916, spent the remainder of the war as a POW.
During the Second World War, thanks to his artistic talents, he was involved in camouflage design.
The donation consists of a series of drawings in both pencil and red crayon. None of the drawings identify the subject; something we hope to remedy with help from the OD Community.
Our sincere thanks go to Mr Parkinson for his patience in answering our many questions and for his generosity in allowing the drawings to return to Dean Close where they were created.