Sir Terry Frost R.A. (1915-2003): A Leamington Lad

Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, 24th July - 11th October 2015, 10:30 am-5:00 pm

Terry Frost in Newlyn Studio c.1990
The Sir Terry Frost estate

In 1915 Terry Frost was born in Leamington Spa. He grew up in a house on Rugby Road, attended the Central School on Leicester Street and did a number of jobs in the town before war broke out in 1939 and he was called up. In 1941 he was imprisoned in the Prisoner of War camp in Bavaria called Stalag 383. There he met the artist Adrian Heath and was inspired to paint.

1944 exhibition

In 1944 the Art Gallery & Museum staged a small exhibition of paintings which Frost had sent back from the camp and when he returned to Leamington in 1945 he was determined to pursue a career in art. Later that year he married Kathleen Clarke and together they made the brave decision to move to St Ives, Cornwall, to become part of the artistic community which had developed there. Frost became one of the most famous abstract artists of the 20th century. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1992 and received a knighthood in 1998. Although he remained based in Cornwall for much of the rest of his life he maintained links with Leamington.

Further exhibitions

A second exhibition at the Art Gallery & Museum took place in 1964 and a third in 1996. In 1998 he donated a collection of works to the gallery which will be displayed for the first time in this exhibition. Two years later he received an honorary degree at Warwick University. This exhibition, in the year which marks the centenary of his birth, will be accompanied by a publication which focuses on Frost’s early life and on-going connection with his home town.