Paperwork on Parade

Paper on Parade

The work of


from 1930 – 1945

Born in Pontefract, Yorkshire in 1901. Died in Rye in 1992

A great deal has been written about Geoffrey Bagley. And there have been many exhibitions of his work as an artist. But not, until now, an exhibition of his work as a commercial artist in the period from 1930 to 1945. While he was working in Canada.

A fine example of a wartime Geoffrey Bagley pencil study of a Wren.
A fine example of a wartime Geoffrey Bagley pencil study of a Wren.

His Drawing and Lithography in this time is masterly. Very much “of the period” , with a brevity of line and sense of colour that breathes the very essence of the 1930s and early 1940s, the golden age of the artist in advertising and propaganda before the camera and, later, the computer, took over. Some will be reminded of images from their youth. While the young will be amazed at the freshness and immediacy of the his art-work.

He came back to Britain and to live in Rye in 1948. Of course, the people of Rye knew him as many other men. He was a member of Rye Town Council from 1953 to 1965 and Mayor of Rye in 1956, 1957 and 1958.

He re-established the Rye Museum in 1954 and acted as Hon. Curator for 38 years.

During this period he wrote and illustrated a number of books on Rye and its environs.

“The Book of Rye” was presented to the Duchess of Kent when she visited the town to open the heritage Centre in 1992.

He was president of Rye and Winchelsea Rotary Club, a Justice of the Peace, School Governor, County Councillor, Chairman of the County Records Committee and Speaker of the Cinque Ports.

He also found time to help found the Rye Society of Artists in 1952, whilst painting and exhibiting in Rye, the Royal Academy and the Rye Art Gallery.

He was given the Freedom of the Borough of Rye in 1973.

This exhibition will be a one-off opportunity to acquire some of Geoffrey Bagley’s illustrations, There will be an enormous range to choose from. Be it lovely ladies in swim suits, Canadian lumberjacks, fighter planes, deep sea fishermen, artwork for the Royal Bank of Canada, propaganda for the Royal Canadian Navy or original lithographs of Wrens and Sailors dancing and warships at sea amongst North Atlantic icebergs.

The Exhibition is at the Turtle Gallery, Landgate from Monday 7 June.

“Rye’s Own ”June 2004

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