Fry, Anthony. (2 of 32). National Life Story Collection: Artists' Lives

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  • Interviewees

    Fry, Anthony (speaker, male)

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    Courtney, Cathy (speaker, female)

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    Part 2. Parents met through paternal grandfather. Mother painted, sang. Relationship between grandfather and mother. Parents’ marriage an odd match; father high-minded, Socialist, Quaker; mother wild, performer. Father tolerant. Youngest sister’s bad relationship with mother, prayed for parents to divorce. No divorce but separated during the war. AF sent to Quaker prep school in Colwall where began painting. Mother’s paintings awful. AF played oboe, badly. Had nannies until war. Father extremely left-wing, friend of Dick Crossman. Upstairs-downstairs quality to household until War. Relationship with mother as small child, details. Father remote, very honourable. Father not a practising Quaker, mother High Anglican. Family Christmas. Father’s professional life, mainly in hospitals. Helped get NHS started. Discussion of politics. AF took opposite views to father. Parents’ social life, wide circle of friends. Art master, Maurice Field, later taught at Slade. AF given oil paint at school. AF closest to older sister, Mary. Toys. Describes painting by grandfather, details. Childhood books, possible influence on own work. Visits to galleries, loved British Museum, theatre, concerts. Radio during War.

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