Edward Douglas Eade

Edward Douglas Eade

b: 7 FEB 1911
d: 24 DEC 1984
51 Aberdare Gardens
West Hampstead (Swiss Cottage)

England From the leaflet about "Edward Eade - A Retrospective Exhibition" held at Lauderdale House, Waterlow Park, Highgate Hill, London on August 1st to 13th 2000:

This is the first exhibition of a hitherto little-known English artist whose remaining works have recently come into the hands of his family.

He came from a working class background in North London. His doting, though overpowering mother quickly recognised his talents, and encouraged him to take up a career in art. After sudying at the Slade School, Eddy eeked out a living by teaching. In later years he taught history of art at Hornsey College. Edward Eade's real passion, however, was for painting and increasingly later on, sculpting. He sought inspiration from great artists throughought the ages, but shrank from the chaos that he saw in the works of many of his contemporaries. Despite efforts from friends and relatives to persuade him to exhibit, he remained disillusioned. Lacking self-confidence, he made little attempt to become known as an artist during his life.

Edward Eade always had an eye for colour, form and design. In many of his paintings one can see he was taken with the ever changing effect of light on water. He was particularly fond of the mother and child theme. Fascinated by the beauty of the female form, he left behind a large number of sketches of female nude figures.

He lived in Hampstead with his wife Phyllis, a former pupil, and their two children. For some years Phyllis suffered poor health through cancer. Having been widowed for 11 years, Edward Eade died in December 1984. For years, his works remained undiscovered until, recently, they were released into the hands of his family. Sadly, all his larger sculptures, of which he was so proud, were lost forever. The home-made 'studio' in his back-garden had been demolished by the landlord and the major works in it cleared away without warning. Fortunately, several small sculptures, carvings and ceramics survived as well as portfolios of sketches and drawings. Eventually, when the thick layer of grey dust was cleaned off the paintings found stacked in his home, some works of incredible beauty were revealed.

The family of Edward Eade have organised this posthumous exhibition in recognition of his life and talents so that others may view and enjoy what remains of his works.

From an article by Helen Smithson in the Ham&High (Hampstead & Highgate Express) on 24 August 2001, on the occasion of 'The Gentle Artist' exhibition of Edward Eade's work to be held at Art Edinburgh, 20a Dundas St, Edinburgh from 28 September:

"It is in his paintings, with his restless playing with style and paint itself that his character comes through......... From faux-naif works to paintings with a Nash-like surrealism or Bonnard-like diffusion of light, they recall all sorts of painters' work and yet no one, overwhelmingly, in particular. Hampstead features regularly in his work. In Lovers at Hampstead Heath, a naked couple sit like Adam and Eve on a park bench in an Eden made of yellow lollipop trees surrounded by leaves the acid green of early spring. Blue Tree is a charcteristically off-kilter work in a Hampstead-like setting, while his street scene, Hampstead, London, had an undeniable influence of Weight. It is the mix of sweetness and tension which gives the work its strength. And the mix of the ordinary and the extraordinary which gives the work its oddness. One painting is called Explain the Lions. A woman is holding on to a screaming child in a garden or park-like setting. In front of them are four large lions - two sitting on their hind legs, one yawning, one lying down glaring at the child as a prospective supper. Explain them? I can't. Nor can I explain his image of two leopards sprawled across a street in Brighton.

What doesn't need explanation is the feeling of gentleness though, in the portraits of mother and child or lovers. It may be deeply unfashionable to portray something so revealing and sincere but it gives the images a subtle quality, which is also evident in his observation of light. In Thames Sunset a barge makes its way past the upturned table legs of Battersea Power Station. In thick strokes he beautifully describes the dying light from the huge yellow sun splintering across the surface of the concrete grey river. Eade strongly believed that if art has any meaning, it should transcend the vulgar and the ugly. In this he succeeded, working from his small garden shed in West Hampstead.

From Alan Ray-Jones:

My chief memories of Aberdare Gardens at Swiss Cottage are of battling to get there on my bike in thick smog, hand hardly visible in front of my face, when I was a student at University College London, sometime in the late forties or early fifties; and for some reason the carpet, perhaps it had paint or clay on it from Uncle Eddy's work, or childrens' toys. My father had been a superlative draughtsman so it was probably difficult for me to admire Eddy from that perspectice, and his work was indubitably the 'modern' art which my mother deplored. Picasso didn't stand a chance with her, nor had he with my father. There should have been a good deal of fellow feeling though, because my mother and her sister both married artists who sold little work, so I thought that life was probably fairly difficult for the family, as it had been for us. I got on well with my cousins, Juliet and Oliver.

My brother Philip told me he remembered 51 Aberdare Gardens, the door to the left of the bay window to the studio, with no curtains and a naked model on one occasion. Eddie had been a tenant at Jubilee Place, according to my mother and Grace Wiltshire. He came to Tunbridge Wells in the war, and stayed with Dan (our grandmother Irene Kate Pearce). Phil remembered that his hand signals when in the car consisted of fingers only. He taught at Guildford College of Art, but was made redundant and took a model making course. At another time he was going into pottery and came to South End Road to ask my mother if he could have a kiln on the ground floor.

In his book 'The Gentle Artist: Life and work of Edward Eade (1911-1984)' publ by The Book Guild Ltd, Oliver Eade wrote:
....... preserving enough room in their flat to bring up her two children was an ongoing battle for Phyllis. Her own family, comparatively well off, could never fully understand why she had married an impoverished artist. My father was just about tolerated, and not much love was lost between the two families. Nevertheless. hostility was always covert. In fact, Edward benefited hugely when Phyllis came into some inherited money. Later on tey were able to purchase the whole house, together with another nearby property, acquiring some income by letting the other flats.........

Oliver Eade wrote in an email to ARJ, 12 November 2001:

I certainly know in my own mind that my father was a very significant artist and that people with artistic sensitivity love his work. The critics and the mandarins of the art world like Sir Nicholas Serota live in a world of their own which has more to do with money, who you know and deceipt than art, but perhaps in the wider view of things they are just a passing irrelevance. Who is going to stand in awe infront of a pickled dead sheep by Damien you know who in 100 years and exclaim " what an amazing work"???

From the Louise Kosman (Edinburgh) on-line exhibition, June 2003:

Born in London. His mother recognised his talents and encouraged him to take up a career in art. Gained scholarships to the Slade School of Art in 1929-30 and Royal Academy Schools in 1930-32. Won a first class prize for drawing at Slade and first class silver medalist for Life Painting at RA. Studied art under Roger Fry and sculpture under Henry Moore. Exhibited with the London Group, NEAC and other London shows. Professor Carel Weight declared that Eade is one of the best draughtsman in this country. His work was commended by art critics of the time Roger Fry, Clive Bell and Eric Newton. Rugby Art Gallery and Museum holds example of his work.

A copy of Edward Eade's curriculum vitae dating from 1952 when he was 41, was found amongst his personal effects, as follows:

Art Education
Slade School University of London 1929-1930, gained Slade Scholarship.
Slade Teaching Diploma (Hons.) 1st class prize for Drawing, awards and certificates for the History of Art, etc.

Royal Academy Schools, 1930-1932.
Landseer Scholarship and first class silver medalist for Life Painting, etc.

Teaching Experience (part time capacity)
Beckenham School of Art, Kent 1933-1934
General Drawing and Painting.

Wimbledon School of Art, Surrey 1938-1939
Life Painting

Sidcup School of Art 1945-continuing
Life Drawing and Painting
Pictorial Composition

Medway and Rochester College of Art 194....
Pictorial Design

Maidstone College of Art 1948-1950
Life Painting and Drawing
General Drawing and Pictorial Composition

Experience in other Schools (short duration part time)
Twickenham School of Art.
St. Martins School of Art, London.
Guildford School of Art.

Extra Qualifications
Studied Art History under the late Roger Fry, Cambridge University, and has had wide experience as a lecturer on Art Appreciation, not only in schools of Art, but secondary schools and H.M. Forces (Chief Lecturer Aldershot Command) and to the Red Cross, YMCA and other societies.

Certain experience in sculpture (Studied under Henry Moore)

Professional Experience
Painter and Graphic Artist (Lithographs)
Mural Paintings commissioned, other paintings exhibited in London Group, New English Art Club, and most of the current London Shows.

Several sales in London Galleries commented by such critics as the late Roger Fry, Clive Bell and Eric Newton.

[The Family File includes photos of Edward Eade and his works]
  • 7 FEB 1911 - Birth -
  • 24 DEC 1984 - Death -
  • BET 1929 AND 1932 - Fact -
  • 1939 - Fact -
  • 1946 - Fact -
  • 1970 - Fact -
  • 1974 - Fact -
  • BET 1984 AND 1997 - Fact -
  • AUG 2000 - Fact -
  • 2001 - Fact -
Edward Douglas Eade
7 FEB 1911 - 24 DEC 1984
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) Douglas Eade
Marriageto Ellen
PARENT (F) Ellen
Marriageto Douglas Eade
MEdward Douglas Eade
Birth7 FEB 1911
Death24 DEC 1984
Marriage1939to Phyllis Margaret Pearce at North London
MHerbert Francis Eade
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Edward Douglas Eade
Birth7 FEB 1911
Death24 DEC 1984
Marriage1939to Phyllis Margaret Pearce at North London
FatherDouglas Eade
PARENT (F) Phyllis Margaret Pearce
Birth8 FEB 1910Sidcup, Kent
Death6 JUN 1973
Marriage1939to Edward Douglas Eade at North London
FatherJohn William Ernest Pearce
MotherIrene Kate Chaplin
Marriageto Richard Rowe
Marriage21 DEC 1968to Yvonne Chen at Whitechapel, London
[S36180] Oliver Eade, from 'A Gentle Artist' or otherwise
Descendancy Chart
Edward Douglas Eade b: 7 FEB 1911 d: 24 DEC 1984
Phyllis Margaret Pearce b: 8 FEB 1910 d: 6 JUN 1973