Displaying beautifully crafted prints and guidebooks pertaining to Salisbury and beyond, this exhibition pays homage to the exceptional skill and dedication of a quiet champion of British art and history
Lacking in recognition until recent years, Rena Gardiner (1929-99) led a solitary life devoted to writing, illustrating and printing some 45 guidebooks, as well as producing paintings and linocut prints in a unique style blending historical accuracy with artistic sentimentality.
Hailing from neighbouring Dorset, Gardiner spent much of her time documenting places of interest in Wiltshire, with Salisbury Cathedral and the charming 18th-century manor Mompesson House among her favourite subjects. Highlighting her clever use of colour and texture, combined with her exacting precision, this exhibition presents these depictions just minutes from where you can visit the buildings themselves in Salisbury’s town centre.
Following on from the exhibition Rena Gardiner: All Her Own Work at the National Trust-owned Mompesson House, the exhibition at Salisbury Museum demonstrates a recent appreciation for the artist’s substantial body of work, which she produced completely independently at her cottage in Tarrant Monkton. The 2015 publication Rena Gardiner: Artist and Printmaker by Julian Francis and Martin Andrews was the first book to highlight her influence and importance in post-war British art and printmaking.