July 18th George Lambourn (Birth)

The, London – born artist, George Lambourn (1900 – 1977) became famous for the works he completed in Cornwall where he spent most of his life.

Following First World War service with the Royal Naval Air Service, he moved to Bruges to design a factory for the English Electric Light Bulb Company and it was there that he developed his interest in art and in painting.  This led Lambourn to study art at Goldsmiths, the Royal Academy Schools and, briefly, in Paris.  Lambourn and his wife moved to Sussex (1926) after their marriage but eventually they, with their two sons, settled in Norwich where he met Augustus John (January 3rd) whose portrait he completed in 1932. At John’s invitation, Lambourn visited Mousehole in 1936 and, in 1938, bought a former school which he developed into a studio.  In 1938, Lambourn’s first solo exhibition at the Matthiessen Gallery included his celebrated Portrait of a Communist which is now displayed in The Tate.

Lambourn served with the Red Cross at the start of World War Two where he was wounded and was one of the last to be evacuated from Dunkirk. After subsequent service, Lambourn painted military works and even painted canteens at a number of military bases across Italy and North Africa as an officer in the newly formed ‘Army Decorating Service’. After the war, Lambourn returned to Mousehole and concentrated on solo exhibitions in small, regional galleries.

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