You’ve been framed

When you acquire a family archive – full of artistic gems – and find the majority are unframed – it pays to have friends.



On display now at Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery – through to November 25th – is a collection that profiles the work of husband and wife team Clifford and Rosemary Ellis over 50 years – from 1931 to 1985.


It comes from the Ellis Archive given jointly to the gallery and Bath Record Office in 2016. However, without the support of its friends, there wouldn’t have been much able to be displayed.


Bath Newseum talked to Gallery Manager, Jon Benington, and a chance to find out more about Clifford and Rosemary Ellis.

The exhibition runs from 8 September – 25 November 2018. Admission is £4.50 / concs. / 16 and under and Discovery Card holders free.

A series of free lunchtime talks will take place at the Guildhall in Bath to complement the Victoria Art Gallery’s new exhibition, Clifford and Rosemary Ellis: Making Art Matter.

Clifford Ellis (1907-1985) was a graphic artist and illustrator who is perhaps best known for his time as head of the pioneering Bath Academy of Art, which was based at Corsham Court in Wiltshire from 1946.

Clifford and his wife Rosemary (1910-1998) worked as partners designing iconic posters for London Transport and Shell, and book jackets for the Collins New Naturalist series.

Their imagery reveals an overwhelming interest in, and love of, the British countryside and the creatures that inhabit it. Signing their work simply ‘C&RE’, they also shared a love of fresh, bright colour and bold design.

The three talks will explore the couple’s lives as artists and educators, the role they played in developing the Bath School of Art and Design, and the colourful advertising posters they produced for Shell.

Councillor Paul Myers, cabinet member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “As well as these wonderful talks, local residents also have the opportunity to see the amazing exhibition of Clifford and Rosemary Ellis’s work at the Victoria Art Gallery, which is free for Discovery Card holders.”

The Spirit of Advertising
26 September 2018

Nicky Balfour Penny, Shell Heritage Art Collection Manager

Rediscovering the Heritage of Bath School of Art and Design
3 October 2018

Laura Brown, Bath Spa University, Art and Design Collection

Clifford and Rosemary Ellis, Artists and Educators
10 October 2018

Jon Benington, Victoria Art Gallery Manager

All talks run from 1.10pm to 1.45pm. Booking is not required – just turn up on the day.