Butler, Rosemary (13 of 14). National Life Story Collection: Artists' Lives.

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  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Hertfordshire

  • Interviewees

    Butler, Rosemary, 1930- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Whiteley, Gillian (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. - first Aldermaston march in 1958. Fearful time. 1960/61 Bertrand Russell and Committee of 100. Disagreements over planned course of action. 1961/62 Strontium 90 scare - supposed to be in milk. Discussed going to Tierra del Fuego - Rosemary horrified at idea of having to go there. Stressful time. Another time, Reg considered taking them all to go and live in South of France. Unreasonable when ill later. No-one knew he was ill. Very few visitors near end of life. Teaching at Slade. Ended teaching at Slade in 1965. 68 years old when died. At Slade, had taken over from Gerrard and made it into post-graduate school only. Anthony Gormley, Tony Cragg, John Davies, Michael Kenny brought in as teachers. Deputy ran everyday things. Reg went once a week at first and later went a week at start and week at end of term Dick Claughton ran things for Reg. Gormley incident. Reg would have admired Gormley's drive now. 1961, Reg did series of lectures at Slade about art students and art school - later published. William Townsend lecture in 1980, published in Tate catalogue. Typewriter essential part of life. 1974 - series of films on TV about artists. John Drummond did film on Reg - just before sculptures sent off to Pierre Matisse gallery. Reg carefully prepared what he would say. 2 good films - the Read film and the Drummond film for BBC TV. Rosamund Julius portrait. Hille furniture - chief chair designer was Robin and Lucien Day. Julius pair used to go to Ash and knew them before Rosemary did. Reg asked to do portrait of Rosamund - when Reg and Jo lived in Hatfield. Lot of sittings. Rosemary cast the portrait for Reg in shell-bronze. This was Reg's only portrait - although he did do two twin boys in wax but they melted. Rosemary's life after Reg's death. Bowness had discussed a retrospective with Reg before he died. Very soon after, they started to organise a memorial show - fitting tribute. Rosemary determined to show his final work and so finished another set of the small painted bronzes for the show. (She had done the set for Caracas.) Richard Calvocoressi. Rosemary returned to drawing - surrealist initially. Dogs important. Jo still living with Rosemary after Reg's death. Jo manic-depressive and eventually went into hospital and a home. Rosemary met Erica Brausen and she suggested she should pick up where she left off, 30 years ago. Started to make small sculptures in wax. Can't face working with polyester resin because of years of working with it - dust, fumes and smell. Reg's retrospective wonderful at Tate. Included later drawings too. Rosemary's wax sculptures. Animals, zoos. From 1990, has done life-drawing. Now draws from life and makes sculpture.

  • Description

    Rosemary Butler is the wife of the late sculptor, Reg Butler (1913-1981). Over the course of this interview, she discusses Reg Butler's life and work.

  • Related transcripts

    Rosemary Butler interviewed by Gillian Whiteley: full transcript of the interview

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