From the Express & Echo, March 22, 2011, Historian's plea for help over missing paintings:
The mystery of the missing Exeter paintings has prompted a city historian to ask Nostalgia readers for help.
Next year will be the 70th anniversary of the Exeter Blitz of 1942 and it is an anniversary that has prompted local art historian Dr Anthony Kelly to try to trace a number of missing paintings of Exeter which showed the city as it was just before the devastation of the German air raids.
The paintings were made by fine watercolour artists, who were employed by Kenneth Clark's wartime Recording Britain scheme.
The scheme was designed to ensure that even if enemy bombs could demolish ancient streets and buildings, an artistic record would still be passed on to posterity.
|Two of the missing paintings|
(scans from the contemporary book).
The missing paintings, all identifiably signed, include one by Gladys Best of the now-demolished Chevalier House, along with other images of lost buildings by Claud Maurice Rogers (one, I think, depicts St Mary Steps) and Stanislaus Soutten Longley.
If anyone knows the whereabouts, Dr Kelly can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or via his website.
Other paintings in the series (some documented in the now-rare Recording Britain: Wiltshire, Somerset, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex, Kent, Arnold Palmer, Oxford University Press, 1949) are still extant at the V&A:
Street in Exeter, Claude Maurice Rogers, c. 1940.
Old Customs House, Exeter, Claude Maurice Rogers, c. 1940.
Bishop's Palace, Exeter, Stanislaus Soutten Longley, 1940.
A gateway, Exeter, Stanislaus Soutten Longley, 1940.
Topsham, from the river, Claude Maurice Rogers, c. 1940.
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