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My interest in Rex Whistler started when I became a volunteer for the National Trust at Mottisfont Abbey.

In 1938 Rex was commissioned by Maud Russell to paint murals on the walls of her drawing room.

Rex was a muralist of some note and he carried out several large commissions for different clients. He had strong links to Salisbury and in 2013 an exhibition of Rex’s work was held in the museum. I became a volunteer steward and then subsequently was approached by Bridget Telfer to see if I was interested in cataloguing his archive, which the Museum had then acquired.

Two other volunteers and I met with Adrian Green and began the task of recording the contents of the collection. We began the job in 2013 and to date have recorded the contents of 14 large folders of art work, boxes of correspondence and a large number of childhood drawing books. He used his artistic talents not only as a muralist but in the fields of stage design, book illustration and advertising for numerous companies.

The task of cataloguing is by no means complete and will probably take the team, now thankfully much larger, at least another two years of work, if not more.

I feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity to explore the work of this very talented artist, who sadly died far too young an age.


Bob Andrews     Collections Volunteer