THIS SELECTION of paintings showing post-war city life has been handed to The Observer in memory of a Coventry artist who recently died.
Colin Dick has 30 pieces of work in the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum’s permanent collection showing what life was like in the city as it recovered and rebuilt from World War Two.
He also painted many views of Coventry from the late 1950s onwards, recording the dramatic changes that were taking place in the city.
The 88-year-old died after a brief acute illness on October 26 and leaves his wife Delia, children Sara, Oliver and Elspeth, and grandchildren Patrick, Alexander, Rosanna and Emilia.
Colin saw himself as a witness and recorder of things that were fast disappearing, following in the tradition of war artists like John Piper and Graham Sutherland.
According to the team at the art gallery Colin, who moved from Surrey to Coventry in the 1950s, also described himself at the first ‘regionalist’ painter to have his work included there.
Paying tribute Martin Roberts, curatorial team leader at the gallery, said: “Colin Dick’s work celebrates regional character and cultural diversity. Themes in his work include scenes of the river Thames, festivals, and itinerant communities, such as gypsies, circus people and canal people.
“Colin Dick’s work thus has considerable historical significance for Coventry, but it also demonstrates his eye for detail and character.
“His sympathy and affection for the people he paints is clear – this, together with the liveliness of his paintings and their spirit of optimism, make his work both engaging and enjoyable.
“We are very fortunate to have such strong representation of his work in the collection at the Herbert.”
Currently only one of Colin’s paintings is on display, his oil painting of 1967 entitled Rose and Joe Skinner, the Last of the Midlands Narrow Boat Folk.