Fonds TREJ - Papers of Julian Otto Trevelyan (1910-1988) artist

Identity area

Reference code

TREJ

Title

Papers of Julian Otto Trevelyan (1910-1988) artist

Date(s)

  • 1820–1988 (Creation)

Level of description

Fonds

Extent and medium

20 boxes paper

Context area

Name of creator

(1910-1988)

Biographical history

Julian Otto Trevelyan was born on 20 February 1910, the son of poet and translator Robert Calverley Trevelyan (1872-1951) and his Dutch wife Elizabeth, née des Amorie van der Hoeven (1975-1957). He attended Bedales School and was admitted to Trinity College Cambridge in 1928, where he spent two years reading English but did not complete his degree; he was linked to the modernist group associated with the magazine Experiment, which included William Empson, Jacob Bronowski, Humphrey Jennings, and Kathleen Raine. He first exhibited work with the London Group in 1929. In 1931 he moved to Paris to pursue an artistic career, working first at the Académie Moderne run by Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant, and then with Stanley Hayter at Atelier 17 where he met Miró and Picasso. He was friends with fellow-artists such as Alexander Calder, Anthony Gross (1905-84), and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva. His first joint exhibition, with Robin Darwin, was at the Bloomsbury Gallery in London in 1932.

After his return to England in 1935 he made his home at Durham Wharf on the Thames, where he lived for the rest of his life. His first one-man show was held that year at the Lefèvre Galleries, and some of his paintings and etchings were chosen for the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries in London. In 1937-1938, he worked for Tom Harrisson's Mass-Observation movement, producing landscape collages of newspaper scraps, ephemera, and coloured paper. He helped organize the 'Unprofessional Painting' exhibition of works by amateur artists, which was shown at Gateshead-upon-Tyne and Peckham in autumn 1938, also participating in a debate on 'Painting and Realism' with amateur artists from the Ashington Group of Nottingham miners. He attended pacifist demonstrations and produced work in support of the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). At the outbreak of the Second World War he joined Hayter's Industrial Camouflage Research Unit with his friend Roland Penrose, before serving as a camouflage officer with the Royal Engineers from 1940 until he was invalided out in 1943.

From 1950 to 1960 he taught etching at the Chelsea School of Art and at the Royal College of Art from 1955 to 1963. In 1963 he suffered a viral infection of the brain which permanently affected his speech and caused him to give up teaching. He concentrated thereafter on printmaking, and in 1965 was one of the founder members of the Printmakers' Council, though he later resumed painting as well. He was made a senior fellow of the Royal College of Art and an honorary senior Royal Academician in 1986.

Trevelyan travelled widely, making visits to Mount Athos (in 1931), Yugoslavia (in 1932), where he worked as part of a small film unit and painted murals in Dubrovnik, Malta (in 1958 and again in 1970), Russia (in 1960), Uganda (in 1966), India (1967-68), Morocco (in 1972), and to most countries in Europe. Several of his 'suites' of prints were inspired by these travels. In 1934 he married the potter Ursula Darwin; they had one son, Philip Erasmus (b 1943), but divorced in 1949. In 1951 he married the artist Mary Fedden, who survived him at his death on 12 July 1988.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The papers were given by Mary Fedden in 1989

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Includes personal correspondence, correspondence and papers relating to the Mass Observation movement, correspondence and papers relating to wartime camouflage and working papers for publications including Trevelyan's autobiography

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

The arrangement of the papers reflects the bundles as kept by Trevelyan

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Tate Britain: Papers of Julian Trevelyan. Scrapbooks, press cuttings books, artworks and photographs: TGA 898 https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/julian-trevelyan-2065

Publication note

Trevelyan's biography is entitled Indigo Days.

Notes area

Note

Note

There are currently some doublings-up within reference numbers: so, for instance, Elizabeth Wiskemann's letter of 16 Dec 1929 is currently assigned the reference TREJ/17/17/1 rather than TREJ/17/1. This is an error introduced during data upload, and is currently being corrected in stages.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places