Rex Whistler in the Studio

Rex Whistler in his studio, 20 Fitzroy Street, 1930s 18 x 24cm

My research interests are in British art of the twentieth century. More specifically I am concerned with art of the inter war period, particularly murals. I am interested in all forms of murals and the artists that created them, but predominantly those schemes created for the private houses of the time.

This area of interest has led to a long term project exploring the life and work of Rex Whistler (1905-1944), one of the leading mural painters of his generation. My investigation into this artist started in 2002 and he formed the subject of my MA dissertation. I have been engaged in researching, writing and lecturing on Whistler since that time. I completed my PhD in April 2015 at the University of Plymouth. The title of my doctoral thesis: 'Rex Whistler (1905-1944): Patronage and Artistic Identity' reflects my growing interests on the effects of patronage on an artist’s career.

Whistler had one of the most diverse creative careers of any artist in the twentieth century. He painted murals for both public and private clients; illustrated books and periodicals; painted portraits of sitters and quite often their houses too; designed scenery and costumes for ballet, opera, plays, revues and films; and as a graphic artist he produced designs for press and poster advertising, corporate publicity, textiles and ceramics.

I am always looking for new opportunities to expand and disseminate my research.

In 2015 I was involved in the design and launch of a website in order to bring Whistler to the attention of a wider public –