Harry Becker's Suffolk
The Suffolk drawn and painted by Harry Becker during the 15 years after he relocated from London in 1913 was no place for an artist and his family. Unlike today, there were no villages and small towns lined with galleries, gift shops and tearooms. There were no bijou cottages used as weekend homes, in which ‘local’ paintings could hang and provide a topic for dinner party conversations.
It was hard for anyone to scrape even a modest living in a sparsely populated region dominated by arable farming and faced with volatile crop prices, low wages and a struggle to cope with agricultural reform and the ravages of war. For a 48-year-old professional artist, poised precariously at the threshold of success in London, Becker’s literal change of direction was career suicide. And yet, as an artist, it made the man. Honest scenes of hard work and hard times became his bread and butter, even if they brought his family precious little of either.
Harry Becker’s Suffolk takes the form of a sketchbook, showing and describing Suffolk rural life from 1913-1928. With many of the pictures previously unpublished, it is a unique snapshot of farm life and landscape through the artist’s eyes.
Hardback, 128 pages, 200mm x 247mm
Published: August 2013
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