Pitmen Painters : Ashington Group, 1934-84

Pitmen Painters : Ashington Group, 1934-84
Author: William Feaver
Rating: 4.13
Bestsellers Rate: None
Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd
Book Format: Paperback
Binding: None
Pages: 180
Hours of reading: 3.0 hours
Publication Date: 2021
Price: None

About the book

The Ashington Group began in the early 1930s as an evening class of Northumbrian pitmen keen to learn about art. Within weeks they were producing their own work and within a few years their paintings amounted to a complete record of life in a mining community: clocking in, work at the coal face, the pithead baths, Saturday night at the club, the corner shop, dog track, pigeon crees, kitchen, ally and allotment - their paintings ring true, transcending the usual limitations of amateur art. William Feaver establishes this "unprofessional" painting in the context of Ashington and of art history, illustrating his book with dozens of paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures by the Group as well as with archive photographs.





William Feaver Biography

William Feaver (born 1 December 1942) is a British art critic, curator, artist and lecturer. From 1975–1998 he was the chief art critic of the Observer, and from 1994 a visiting professor at Nottingham Trent University. His book The Pitmen Painters inspired the play of the same name by Lee Hall.


Feaver was educated at Nottingham High School and Keble College, Oxford. After graduating from Oxford he became a teacher at Newcastle's Royal Grammar School (1965–71) before being appointed the Sir James Knott Fellow at Newcastle University. He is currently an academic board member of the Royal Drawing School.

Career as art critic

While at Newcastle, Feaver became the art critic of the Newcastle Journal before being appointed successively to the Listener (1971–75) and the Financial Times (1974–75) before being joining the Observer. He won the Art Critic of the Year award in 1983. Feaver conducted an exemplary interview with Lucian Freud in 1992, The artist out of cage on Freud's 70th birthday, which has been re-published in English and German in the catalog of the Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt exhibition Lucian Freud: Naked Portraits.His 2019 book, The Lives of Lucian Freud, was shortlisted for the 2019 Baillie Gifford Prize.

Exhibitions curated

Feaver has curated a number of exhibitions in the UK and abroad, including: George Cruikshank, V&A, 1974 Thirties, Hayward Gallery, 1979 The Ashington Group, Beijing, 1979 Lucian Freud exhibitions at Abbot Hall, Kendal (1996),Tate Britain and La Caixa, Barcelona (2002), Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2002-3) and Museo Correr, Venice (2005) Michael Andrews, Tate Gallery, 2001 John Constable, Grand Palais, 2002

Books published

The Art of John Martin, 1975 When We Were Young, 1976 Masters of Caricature, 1981 Pitmen Painters, 1988 Frank Auerbach, 2009 The Lives of Lucian Freud: Youth 1922–1968, 2019 The Lives of Lucian Freud: Fame 1968-2011, 2020


His father was the Rt Rev Douglas Feaver. In 1964 Feaver married Victoria Turton (the poet Vicki Feaver). They had one son and three daughters. He married, secondly, in 1985, Andrea Rose OBE; they have two daughters, Alice and Dorothy.


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Authors: William Feaver
Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd
Original Language:
ISBN13: 9781857540369
ISBN10: 1857540360
Reference Edition:
Edition: New edition
Edition Statement: New edition
Illustrations: illustrations, photographs
Literature Country: None
Literature Period: None
Book Format: Paperback
Book Binding: None
Paper: None
Font: None
Pages: 180
Book Weight: 560
Book Dimensions: 189x244
Circulation: None
Publication date: Aug. 30, 2001
First Publication Date: None
Publication City/Country: Manchester, United Kingdom

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