CAS Permanent Collection . Lucy Harwood


E. Lucy Harwood was born on New Year’s Day in 1893 at Belstead Park near Ipswich into a wealthy family of yeoman ancestry. Shortly after her birth her family moved to Ackworth House, East Bergholt, where they lived until the death of her father. As a teenage girl Lucy had shown outstanding musical ability and planned to become a professional pianist but a failed operation paralysed her right side, obliging her to abandon her musical ambitions.

After studying fine art she attended classes at the Slade, showed a talent for drawing and after the death of her mother in 1938, moved to Octagon House, Dedham, becoming, at the age of 45, one of the first students at the East Anglian School of Drawing and Painting set up by Cedric Morris (q.v.) and Arthur Lett-Haines (q.v.).

Influenced by Cedric Morris and Post-Impressionism, she painted landscapes and portraits of her fellow students and village neighbours, keeping a daily journal and every Sunday at 4.30 served a formal tea for her friends with buns, bread and jam. When in 1940 the School accidentally burned down and moved to The Pound in Higham and later to Benton End Lucy bought a house in the nearby village of Upper Layham where she lived until her death. Here she became an institution and Maggi Hambling, a former student, recalls how “people maintained a respectful distance both from her paint-spattered car and the lethal port wine she served to visitors.” Regarded as an eccentric Lucy never married and was able to devote herself to the community and her art, taking pleasure in seeing her paintings hanging in neighbours’ cottages. She became one of the early members of the Colchester Art Society, exhibiting Still Life with Chrysanthemums and Layham Landscape at the first exhibition of 1946.


This painting could have been painted at the same time as No 39 and could be a painting of the Knab or Nab in the Lake District. It was also suggested that this might be a Provencal landscape because of the colour scheme.

Selected exhibitions

The Minories, Colchester, Landscape with the Blue Mountains (No 55 in this catalogue), 1962;

Lucy Harwood, a Commemorative Exhibition, 28th June – 20th July 1975

Also many local exhibition

Works in public collections

Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service (5)

National Trust for Scotland, Haddo House (1)


BUCKMAN, David, Dictionary of artists in Britain since 1945, Art Dictionaries Ltd, Bristol, 1998, p. 550

HARWOOD, Lucy, Lucy Harwood, Sally Hunter Fine Art, 1987

Selected references

COLLINS, Judith and SPALDING, Frances, 20th century painters and sculptors, Antique Collector’s Club, 1991, p. 229

DEBENHAM Charles, Charles Debenham’s East Anglia, Sansom, 2000

HAMBLING, Maggi, Maggi Hambling the Works: And Conversations with Andrew Lambirth, Unicorn Press, 200