Thursday, 31 December 2015

Object of the Month: January 2016 – the Joyce Dennys Mural

Budleigh artist and writer Joyce Dennys (1893-1991) was to have been featured in an exhibition planned for 2016.

Sadly, due to unforeseen circumstances, that plan has had to be abandoned. However, Fairlynch’s Costume Room will feature a scene from Joyce Dennys’ play Worlds Apart when the Museum opens in March.

The mural that she painted is sometimes used as a background for costume exhibitions.

The idea of a special exhibition to showcase the achievements of the talented artist and author of such literary gems as Henrietta’s War is something that the Museum will continue to bear in mind. Some of her paintings are on display at Fairlynch of course, and Budleigh Salterton Town Council has kindly consented to lend us others in its ownership.

The idea of an illustrated book about Joyce Dennys has also been discussed and this would certainly be a welcome project. There are still many of her paintings in private ownership about which the Museum would like to know more, and many people, friends and relatives, who have cherished memories of her. Just a few months ago I received an email from a resident of Philadelphia who told me that her mother had been ‘raised at Lion House by her Aunt Joyce.’ 

Before that, I was contacted out of the blue by someone who told me that she was the granddaughter of the old man portrayed in a painting by ‘Aunt Joyce’ currently in private ownership. Her mother, she told me, still has copies of her correspondence with the artist. 

Obviously there is a lot of valuable material out there which could be used in displays about Joyce Dennys, but which has not been recorded. Please contact the Museum if you think you can help.   

PS. For those who don't know the mural at Fairlynch Museum, the object in the background is a hot air balloon. The two figures with their archery stuff were part of a museum exhibition on the theme of local sporting personalities a few years ago. 

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