Our Museum Highlight in July 2017 was chosen as an inspiration to all our Summer Painting Day participants. This painting is by a past member whose drive and enthusiasm helped the RGA diversify its activities in the 1950s and 60s. [Highlighted: Jul 2017]
Near Eastington, Gloucester by Julia Forrester was exhibited at the Reading Guild of Artists 23rd Annual Exhibition at the Municipal Art Gallery Reading, May 2nd – May 30th, 1953. Julia Forrester was a member of the RGA from 1944 until her death in 1984 at the age of 89. She served the RGA Council from 1949 and in 1955 became the Guild’s Secretary for the next 14 years. During this time she was heavily involved with expanding the RGA’s horizons with her initiative and drive. She was a great advocate of the new Associate members, and was the instigator and organiser of group art classes known as the ‘Carnegie Classes’ which were held both in and outdoors, with often over 40 ‘students’ in attendance.
Julia worked in oils with her subject matter including flower studies, still life, and landscapes. One of her works Cyclamen was described to show the influence of Cézanne, an influence that can perhaps also be seen here too.
Julia Forrester later married Noel Gallagher, who became, along with Julia’s daughter, one of the first non-practising members of the RGA in 1962, having been the Guild’s auditor since the mid-1950s, a role he continued to do until 1977