Published On: Fri, Nov 28th, 2014 at 12:45pm

Eardley painting of Glasgow children to be sold at auction

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SHUGGIE AND JAMESIE TWO OF JOAN EARDLEY’S FAMOUS GLASGOW CHILDREN AT BONHAMS WINTER ART SALE IN EDINBURGH

A charming painting of two Glasgow street children by Joan Eardley is to be offered at Bonhams Scottish Art sale in Edinburgh next week on 4 December 2014. It is estimated at £25,000-35,000.

Shuggie and Jamesie, which has been in the same private hands since 1964, is one of the celebrated series of images of children that Eardley produced in her studio on St James’s Road Townhead in Glasgow during the 1950s. It is on these distinctive works and the later sea and landscapes of the area round Catterline in Aberdeenshire that her reputation as one of Scotland’s finest 20th century artists largely rest.

Joan Eardley was well known in Townhead and children would flock to her studio door looking for sweets in exchange for a few minutes modelling. She worked mostly in pastel, an ideal medium for capturing the image quickly before the children grew bored and started to fidget and run off. Shuggie and Jamesie appears pinned to the top of the easel in Audrey Walter’s photograph of Eardley working in her Townhead studio.

The Townhead of Eardley and her street children is long since gone. The tenement buildings that characterised so much of the area were demolished in the 1960s, the families either re-housed in new tower blocks or moved to estates like Easterhouse on the outskirts of Glasgow.

Bonhams Head of Scottish Art, Chris Brickley, said, “Joan Eardley’s street children became a kind of trademark during the early part of her career. Not only are they highly evocative and accomplished works in their own right they also bear poignant witness to a vanished age.”

About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Glasgow Reporter. Also edits The Edinburgh Reporter and is working on other digital projects across Scotland.

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