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 Gilbert Spencer  (1892 - 1979)

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom      Known for: portrait, genre, landscape painting

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Garsington Roofs
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Biography from Cheffins:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Gilbert Spencer, younger son of Stanley Spencer, was born in Cookham, Berkshire and throughout his career, like his brother, returned to painting the landscapes of his home town, as well as Oxfordshire, Dorset and the Lake District. 

Spencer studied at the Camberwell School, and wood carving at the RCA from 1911-1912, before studying under the greatly influential Henry Tonks at the Slade School from 1913-1915 and again from 1919-1920, serving in the war in the intervening years.  Spencer became involved in the Carline group after the war; Sydney Carline employing him at Oxford where he held the position of Master of Drawing, after Spencer met Hilda Carline who was later to be Stanley Spencer`s wife.

His first one man show was held at the Goupil Gallery, London, in 1923; it was during this period of his career that he started to further his social circle of rising and successful artists, as well as meeting members of high society.  As well as painting rural landscapes and vistas, Spencer was commissioned to paint many murals, such as for the Royal Academy restaurant in 1958, for which he painted  An Artist`s Progress; depicting his journey from Cookham into the Slade to the election to the Royal Academy.  He was also commissioned to create murals for Holywell Manor, Balliol College, Oxford in 1936, and The Scholar Gypsy for the students` union of University College, London, c.1956.

Spencer`s teaching posts proved his great success; he was appointed Professor of Painting at the Royal College of Art 1932-48; Official War Artist 1940-43; Head of Painting at Glasgow School of Art 1948-1950 and at Camberwell School 1950-1957.

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