This week’s page from Marianne Straub’s scrapbook, on show in the Fry Art Gallery, tells us more about the extent of her friendship circle. During the time that Marianne lived in Great Bardfield, in the 1950s and 1960s, she became firm friends with the local artists, such as the Hoyles and the Bawdens, while keeping up her friendships from the time before she moved to Essex.
On these two pages we have some wonderful offerings from Walter & Denise Hoyle (top left and middle upper right), and a sparkly Christmas tree from Edward Bawden’s daughter Joanna, as well as a delightful reclining lady on a Victorian bedstead by an unknown hand – one suggestion is Sheila Robinson, another is Bernard Cheese.
At the lower left we have a tender nativity scene drawn by her friend from Bolton, the Belgian-born artist Françoise Taylor. Born Françoise Wauters, she came to England in 1946, having married an Englishman in Brussels. She and Marianne became friends during Marianne’s time working for the textile firm Helios, a Bolton-based subsidiary of Barlow & Jones. As well as providing the illustrations for many books, Françoise is known for drawing and painting the industrial and social scene around her in Bolton.