The Last Bohemians: The Two Roberts – Colquhoun and Macbryde
Artist(s): Robert Colquhoun, Macbryde
Author(s): Roger Bristow
Year published: 2010
Publisher: Sansom & Company
Publisher Location: Bristol
Total Pages: 456
Illustrations: Illustrated in colour and black and white throughout.
The fruit of over twenty years’ original research, The Last Bohemians is the first full-length biography of two charismatic, talented and ultimately tragic individuals. It dispels many of the negative myths which grew around the pair following their early deaths and re-establishes their reputations as highly significant figures of twentieth-century British art.
In 1948, Alfred Barr, the esteemed curator of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), visited London to purchase works from some of the new wave of British artists. He selected just five pieces – by Francis Bacon, Edward Burra, Lucian Freud, Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde.A rags-to-riches and back-to-rags-again story, The Last Bohemians is the account of the lives and time together of the artists who were known in the 1940s as ‘The Golden Boys of Bond Street’. To research this book, the author raveled widely in both England and Scotland, interviewing many of their friends and admirers – well-known names in the art and literary worlds including George Barker, Prunella Clough, John Craxton, Daniel Farson, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Bryan Robertson, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Patrick Heron and Ken Russell (many, alas, are now dead, making their memories all the more precious). He was also given exclusive access to their personal correspondence.
Born and brought up in Ayrshire to poor, working-class families, Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde met at the Glasgow School of Art in the 1930s. They moved to London in 1941 and quickly became associated with the Neo-Romantic group of painters which included Keith Vaughan and John Minton. At a time when homosexuality was not only illegal but actively persecuted, they made little attempt to disguise their relationship and they had a constant stream of admirers, both male and female. The circle of friends that grew around them included the painters Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Michael Ayrton, John Minton and the poets George Barker and Dylan Thomas, all attending the regular weekend soirées held by The Roberts at their fashionable Kensington studio.
With catalogue raisonne. As new