December 12 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The hunt is on across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire for the missing works of a Norwich artist – and you might find them in your local pub.
John Moray-Smith produced some extraordinary large three-dimensional plaques for pubs in and around Norwich in the 1930s and 40s.
Six years ago, the Norwich Society produced a booklet about his work to encourage people to better appreciate those pieces that are still on public view and try to ensure that what remains of his work is conserved and restored.
The society was responsible for the recent restoration of the external panel on the Coachmakers’ Arms pub in St Stephen’s Road in Norwich.
Now they are updating the booklet and want members of the public to help fill in some of the gaps in their knowledge.
The booklet was well received and resulted in the society being provided subsequently with considerably more information about Moray Smith.
Vicky Manthorpe, secretary to the trustees of the Norwich Society, is appealing for help from the public to fill in the gaps.
She said: “We are trying discover what has happened to some of Moray-Smith’s work which has gone missing. In particular, we would like to find out what has happened to three oil paintings that he did for The Ship pub in Brancaster; these depicted a ship beside the Tower of London; a ship in the port of Rochester; and a painting of a naval battle, possibly the Armada.
“Moray-Smith also produced six large panels for The Jolly Farmers pub in King’s Lynn which are now in store at the Rural Life Museum in Gressenhall. However, a seventh panel depicting ploughing and reported to be 11ft long, is missing.
“Also missing are three pieces he made for the Men of March pub in March, Cambridgeshire, one showing the Roman occupation; the second, a wonderful farm scene with a bull chasing a man; and the third, a powerful illustration of a steam locomotive.
“Finally, we wonder if your readers may be able to help us with information about four individual works he did for pubs around Norwich: one showed a flying fish for the pub of that name in Carbrooke, Watton; the second showed herons and a river scene done for The Harnser in Stalham; a third depicted a Viking warrior produced for The Viking pub (now a restaurant) in Sprowston; and, finally, a fourth showing a mail coach produced for the Coach & Horses in Norwich.
“We would love to know what has happened to these missing works and wonder if any readers might have any information that might help us.
If anyone can provide information about the missing pictures email firstname.lastname@example.org, write to Vicky Manthorpe at the Norwich Society, the Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich NR2 1RQ, or call 01603 765606.