George Chapman
1903 - 1993

Chapman was born in East Ham, London and trained at Gravesend School of Art and the Royal College of Art. His pre-Royal College days and after were punctuated by working in the advertising industry, and in 1945 he formed his own successful design agency. Based in Norwich from 1945, he married his second wife, Kate Ablett in 1947. In 1951 he stayed with his sister in Wimbish Green, near Thaxted, and in that year bought three thatched cottages outside Great Bardfield. He and his wife lived in one, Vine Cottage, while another became his studio. Bawden cycled out to meet them, invited them to tea, and they became part of the Bardfield circle, participating in the various 'open house' exhibitions. <br><br>While an important part of his work depicted Welsh scenes, it was not until 1953, at the age of 45, that a chance visit to the industrial Rhondda "transformed my purpose" both visually and personally as he was attracted by the spirit of the community. Although he made some of the most evocative (and commercially successful) paintings and etchings of a mining community between then and 1969, it was not until 1964 that he finally settled in the Principality. Feeling his work to be out of fashion, he became disillusioned and gave up exhibiting for much of the 1970s, but returned to depict the "new" Rhondda in the 1980s. A major exhibition in 1989 at the Aberystwyth Art Centre was followed by a 1992 show at the Goldmark Gallery in Rutland.<br>