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Work of the Week | 24 April 2023

CAG.0307 Anna R. Findlay, Cafe Scene, 1930s, linocut (5/25), 24.5 x 29 cm. Purchased, Doig, Wilson & Wheatley, 1939 (Gibson Bequest Fund). © the artist’s estate.

We’re off to the café with this WORK OF THE WEEK!

Cafe Scene by Anna R. Findlay is a crisp and colourful modernist print that draws us straight back to the 1930s. Cool and analytical, the forms and lines of this linocut echo the fashionable Art Deco.

The scene itself is composed of blocks of blue, black, grey, white, beige, and mustard yellow, and small flashes of orange. The artist has arranged the figures into three planes, as the finely dressed staff and clientele of the café drink and chat. Is that Cole Porter we can hear…!?

Fun fact: This is one of 13 prints purchased in 1939 through the Gibson Bequest Fund from Doig, Wilson & Wheatley of 90 George Street, Edinburgh. Following approval of the purchase, expert advisors (and artists) Soirle MacCana and George Atkinson had selected 24 prints by influential British printmakers – five female, five male – at a cost of £56.13.6 (approximately €3,000 today).

Anna R. Findlay (1885-1968) exhibited regularly from the 1920s through to the 1940s. Having studied at Glasgow School of Art, she learned linocut techniques under Claude Flight at Grosvenor School of Modern Art, which had been founded in 1925 by wood-engraver Iain Macnab. Findlay was a member of St Ives Society of Artists and Glasgow Society of Artist Printers. Examples of her work can also be found in the collections of the British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

Cafe Scene by Anna R. Findlay is featured in RADHARC: Perspectives in Print until 21 May.

In the mood for a tasty treat? The Green Room at the Crawford is open daily!

The Arts House: Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about a work from the Collection every Sunday morning on Cork’s 96FM and C103 Cork.

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