In 1937 Joan Warburton enrolled as one of the first students of Cedric Morris and Arthur Lett-Haines at their now legendary East Anglian School of Painting at Dedham.

In 1939 the school was burned down by fellow student Lucian Freud, so the story goes, and while the students were painting the blackened ruins, Alfred Munnings, who also lived at Dedham, drove past crying 'Down with modern art'. The school was relocated to Benton End.

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