Jaques print donated to the NFM

A limited edition print has been kindly donated to the National Football Museum by Capes Dunn & Co., a local auction house.  This is the first gift of football-related artwork during my time as Art Research Officer for The Art of Football project!

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‘Goal’ 1968 ©Norman Jaques

The print ‘Goal’ is by Norman Clifford Jaques, a Manchester-born artist. It is edition 10/20, and is signed by the artist in pencil, and dated 1968. It is a striking lithograph on paper depicting what looks like a frenzied goal. 

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Lek works go on display

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Our set up for interviewing Karel at Oriel Tegfryn Gallery.

Last year I wrote a post about tracking down two pieces of art by Karel Lek, which were done in 1952. These were discovered to be still with the artist, after being in storage for over 60 years. The National Football Museum was able to purchase both of these as part of The Art of Football project and they have been framed and are now on display on level 1 of the museum – so come on down and see them if you can! Continue reading “Lek works go on display”

Two 1920s prints: the Frivolous Prince and the War Artist.

In November two prints were purchased for the National Football Museum’s art collection.  They date from the 1920s – this is slightly earlier than our focus to find post-war to present day artworks, but the importance of the artists and the quality of the prints meant these were too good to miss out on!

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The many arms of Cocteau’s talents!

The first print is a line-cut or line engraving by French artist Jean Cocteau (1889–1963).  Jean Cocteau was a man of many talents: he was an artist, poet, writer, playwright, filmmaker and designer; and known as the ‘Frivolous Prince’ (the title of an anthology he published in the 1920s). Cocteau had many famous friends in his avante-garde circle, including the singer Edith Piaf, fashion designer Coco Chanel,  and the artist Pablo Picasso – who designed sets for Cocteau’s ballet productions (see an illustrated letter from Picasso to Cocteau in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection here). Continue reading “Two 1920s prints: the Frivolous Prince and the War Artist.”

Quack Quack… QUICK!

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The Cartoon Museum – situated in an old dairy building in Bloomsbury – look at those lovely tiles!

Last month I attended a meeting in London with the other recipients of the Collecting Cultures grant money awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.  It was great to hear how the other projects are coming along, and from those that have finished their projects too.  We also heard about some of the interesting items purchased for various public museums and galleries across the UK – including couture clothes, photographs, diaries and a suffragette banner.  Our host was the Cartoon Museum – a haven for British comic art situated in Bloomsbury.  For their Collecting Cultures project, ‘Comic Creators’, the Cartoon Museum purchased this original pen, ink and watercolour on paper in 2016.  It features a familiar footballing face – Roy of the Rovers by Mike White.  This would be at home at the National Football Museum too! Continue reading “Quack Quack… QUICK!”

Art detective: finding Karel Lek

As the 1953 ‘Football and the Fine Arts’ exhibition was the starting point for the Art of Football project, I have been going through our photocopies of the price list for exhibited works and the exhibition catalogue to see if I can find any of those listed for sale now.

K. Lek in the Football and the Fine Arts catalogue
Image of Karel Lek’s ‘Off to the Match’ in the NFMs photocopy of the 1953 Football and the Fine Arts exhibition catalogue

A few months ago I came across the name K. Lek in the exhibition catalogue.  I didn’t have any prior knowledge of this artist (shame on me!) – but as there is an image of the work in the catalogue, and the name might be uncommon enough to find online, I thought I would give this a go.  The artwork in the exhibition catalogue is entitled ‘Off to the Match’, and is a wood engraving showing various male football fans.

I didn’t have to dig very deep to find Lek’s first name! A Google search for ‘K Lek artist’ immediately brought up results for Karel Lek.  There was more to read about Karel’s history than I was perhaps expecting.  Born in Antwerp in 1929, Karel came to live in North Wales after fleeing Belgium with his parents during the Second World War. Karel is an active artist, still producing work in North Wales.  This meant that I could try to contact him and find out more about his life, his art, and if he knew the whereabouts of ‘Off to the Match’.

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Missing out at auction…

As part of my role as Art Research Officer at the National Football Museum, I keep up to date with upcoming auctions and private sales of any football artwork which might be relevant to the museum collection. Recently, a colour lithograph came up for auction – ‘Goal!’ by Clifford Fishwick, 1953.  In a similar situation to the Peter L. Peri print we acquired previously (see this post), the museum does already have ‘Goal’ in the collection, but this is a loan. By purchasing one of these lithographs, this would become a permanent addition to the museum’s collection.  So I put in a commission bid with the auction house – this meant the auctioneer could bid on my behalf up to a certain amount (works the same as an eBay maximum bid!).

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Screenshot of the artwork listing on The-Saleroom.com

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