Study day - Sacred and Profane: The Art and Life of Stanley Spencer

Sandham study day Ann Danks

Sir Stanley Spencer was one of the most original artists of the Twentieth Century. Famous for portrayals of biblical events taking place in his native village of Cookham Berkshire, he was also an official war artist and a fine painter of landscapes and portraits. His colourful personal life inspired a revolution in the painting of the nude.

Saturday March 25th 10am - 4pm £30 booking essential.

This course aims to familiarise students with the life and work of the artist Stanley Spencer, through an enjoyable and informative introduction to a varied selection of his fascinating paintings and drawings.

The day will begin with an overview of Stanley Spencer's outstanding career whilst discovering the intriguing personality and unique vision which led to such a rich artistic output.

Stanley Spencer outside chapel door
Sandham Spencer outside chapel
Stanley Spencer outside chapel door

The large scale art resulting from Spencer's wartime experiences will be explored, including those here at Sandham Memorial Chapel and the Shipbuilding on the Clyde paintings.

A further session will examine the paintings inspired by the artist's colourful personal life contrasted with the beautifully observed landscapes and portraits which funded his artistic endeavours.

The final session will cover the artist’s later years in Cookham, the media attention he received and his last great works including ‘The Regatta Series’.

Stanley Spencer painting Regatta at Cookham
sandham - spencer painting regatta
Stanley Spencer painting Regatta at Cookham
" An excellent course. Ann is extremely knowledgeable with an engaging, accessible and enthusiastic teaching style. She made good use of a range of materials as well as encouraging valuable contributions from students."
- Previous study day attendee

Ann says:  "I have lived in Cookham, the birthplace of Stanley Spencer, since I was 21 years old.  Originally a teacher, I went on to compile some books on the history of the village and as a result  was asked to become a custodian at the Stanley Spencer Gallery.  I took over responsibility for the archives in 2006.  In order to support my work there I went back to university and took a BA in Art History, for which I got a first class honours. 
My work at the Gallery is fascinating and varied - in addition to making the archives available to students, academics, authors and the general public I also help to organise exhibitions, support education and access work and give talks on Stanley Spencer both within the Gallery and further afield. I also still very much enjoy sitting at the desk and being a custodian, for this is when you meet people and can enthuse them with the delights of Cookham and Spencer."


Saturday March 25th 10am - 4pm £30 booking essential 0344 249 1895