Correspondence with British, Irish and American artists

Scope and Content

This large series predominantly consists of Strachan's correspondence with British and British-based artists. The majority of these are sculptors, and they include figures like Robert Adams, Leonard Baskin, Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, Geoffrey Clarke, Barbara Hepworth, Frank Martin, Kenneth Martin and Bernard Meadows. Strachan also corresponded with numerous sculptors who are still producing work. In addition to sculptors (who often worked in other media too), there is a smaller number of painters, designers, illustrators, printmakers and engravers; some of those represented include Edward Bawden, Cecil Collins, Stephen Gooden, Joan Hassall, John Northcote Nash and Michael Rothenstein. While the figures represented are predominantly British, there is also some correspondence with Irish and American artists, including Louis le Brocquy, F.E. McWilliam, Leonard Baskin and Seymour Lipton.

Strachan's correspondence with Henry Moore is also represented in this section (at WJS/2/3/83). These letters include references to Strachan's poem inscribed to Moore in Poetry Quarterly ['Battersea 1948']; plans for Strachan to write a piece on the evolution of Moore's livre d'artiste, Prométhée [for the journal Image in 1952]; Moore's UNESCO sculpture [Reclining Figure, 1957]; and a piece on Nancy Cunard [for Hugh Ford's 1968 volume Nancy Cunard: brave poet, indomitable rebel, 1896-1965, to which Moore, via Strachan, contributed a brief memoir].

More generally, a number of the correspondents here were represented in Strachan's 1976 book, Towards sculpture: drawings and maquettes, from Rodin to Oldenburg, and their correspondence relates to the supply of photographs of sketches and maquettes for inclusion in the volume. A substantial amount of the correspondence also relates to Strachan's Open air sculpture in Britain (1984), and a projected sequel which was never ultimately published; there are discussions about Strachan's work on locating open air sculpture across the UK, and the works to be included, as well as requests for photographs and copyright permission from the artists concerned. Other topics covered include: the current commissions and projects of Strachan's correspondents, who in some cases also provide CVs and commentaries on their own work; articles and talks by Strachan on various art-related subjects, including sculpture, the livre d'artiste and tapestry; some of his other projects and publications, including The living curve; and the purchase of artwork for his collection.


The current arrangement reflects Geoffrey Strachan's organisation of the material, which is alphabetical by surname of correspondent.