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SOLD TO THE VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM
AUMBRY DOOR SHERE 1956
Aluminium and glass shard
Unique edition in aluminum
Provenance; Louis Osman , Harpton Court, Powys.
Exhibited; Westminster Abbey ‘The Bible in Britain’, 1961. Credited as Geoffrey Clarke
Exhibited alongside works by Louis Osman who was the architect for the installation See Photograph below..
Illustrated 'Louis Osman - the life and work of an architect and goldsmith'. By Jenny Moore 2006 page 87.
A graduate of the Royal College of Art Geoffrey Clarke was one of the few artists in Britain to embrace the practice of co-operation between artist and architect; he worked with the architect goldsmith Louis Osman on at least three projects. Osmam who later went on to design the Prince of Wales investiture crown had great respect for artists including Epstein and Sutherland and used their collaboration in many notable projects.
Osman was commissioned to restore Shere Church in Surrey, the church was stripped of most of the accumulated Victorian clutter and given a more austere treatment, Osman designed the alter covers along with Frank Avery-Wright, he designed the candlesticks and alter cross. Geoffrey Clarke designed the aumbry door to the side of the altar; the aumbry contained the sacred vessels.
The aumbry door at Shere is a bronze version of this aluminium plaque, set with an amethyst instead of glass. The glass was designed to be lit from behind and has a blue glass layer on the reverse.
Osman was a very exacting architect and the piece would not have passed his scrutiny without some input on his part. The piece remained in Osman's collection until his death in 1996 and passed on to his family at Harpton Court where it remained until 2016 when the property was sold by his daughter.
This is a really interesting piece by Clarke which incorporates glass into a sculptural panel, the work of Clarke and his contribution to art in the fifties and sixties is being revaluated, early pieces such as this are very scarce.
Works by Geoffrey Clark are included in the following public collections : Arts Council of Great Britain, London; British Council, London; Contemporary Arts Society, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London; Victoria & Albert Museum, London