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Dorothy Annan and Trevor Tennant

A fascinating insight into the relationship between sculpture and architecture in post-war Britain.

The family of artists Dorothy Annan (1900-83) and Trevor Tennant (1900-80) have generously gifted their archive to our collection.

The wealth of material provides a detailed and comprehensive insight into their work from the 1920s to the 1970s through correspondence and papers relating to commissions, sketchbooks, exhibition catalogues, photographs, scrapbook, financial papers and press cuttings.

Annan was known as a painter and muralist, and noted for exhibiting her work with the Artists International Association. Her murals were mainly for public commissions, including in 1960 a work for the listed Fleet Building on Farringdon Street, then the largest telephone exchange in London. The nine ceramic tile murals reflected the theme of communication with stylised images of cables, telegraph poles and radio aerials.

Tennant trained at Goldsmiths and the Royal Academy before teaching at several art colleges, including Camberwell School of Art (1930-4). His work ranged from architectural commissions, including murals, through to figurative sculptures and portraits.

Tennant's small-scale bronze works appeared in a series of influential group exhibitions entitled Sculpture in the Home that were staged by the Arts Council in the 1950s and 60s, which we explored in an exhibition and issue 60 of our Essays on Sculpture series in 2008.