BULMER, Lionel

1919 - 1992

Lionel Bulmer

Lionel Victor Bulmer was born at Wandsworth, London on 12 June 1919, third and youngest child of Francis Holles Bulmer (1881-1968), an architect, and his wife Annie Cecilia née Shelley (c1877-11 December 1960), who married at Lambeth in 1905 and in 1911 were living at 15 Alderbrook Road, Wandsworth with a 4-year-old daughter Eileen. At the age of 17, Lionel entered Clapham Art School for two years before being conscription into the army at the outbreak of the Second World War but continued his painting in his free time. On demobilisation, he returned to his artistic career being accepted as a student at the Royal College of Art, still then relocated at Ambleside in the Lake District. Among his classmates was Margaret Green and they soon became inseparable, working side by side on sketching trips and on paintings back in the college studio, although they did not marry until just before Lionel's death in 1991. The Royal College returned to Exhibition Road, Kensington when his tuition continued under Ruskin Spear (1911-1990), Carel Weight (1908-1997) and Charles Mahoney (1903-1968). Lionel and Margaret set to work in Chelsea and through one of Margaretís many student prizes, a £160 travelling scholarship, funded a year of frugal travel through France and Ireland. Lionel exhibited at the Royal Academy almost every year 1947-1992 and with the New English Art Club at Sunderland and elsewhere. To support their painting, the partners accepted part-time teaching posts in art schools, Lionel at Kingston, and Margaret, firstly at Walthamstow and then at the Royal Academy Schools. In the late 1950s, they purchased an unrestored old house in West Suffolk for £850. Restoring a noble building dating from the Middle Ages, bulldozed the jungle to plant a paradise of flower, fruit and vegetable beds, which took them towards self-sufficiency but neither ever tired of painting. They adored the beach at Aldeburgh, with the two lookout towers and the tram-like tracks for hauling fishing boats up and down the shingle. They then discovered Walberswick and Southwold with the resulting flood of canvases suggesting that the two figures were fixtures on the beach and beside the harbour over every high summer between 1960 and 1990. Lionel Victor Bulmer died at Lodge Cottage, Buxhall Vale, Stowmarket, Suffolk on 10 February 1992.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 3 Elm Park Gardens, Southwest London
1947 547 Kirdford
         635 Elm Park Gardens: Winter
1948 573 The Pebbly Beach
         579 Cart under a Dutch Barn
         673 The Meadow
1950 9 Morning Papers
         546 Evening at Loxwood Fair
1951 111 'Look what I've found mummy'
1952 921 The Kitchen Garden - watercolour
         1008 Summer in the Suburbs - watercolour
from 3 Curran Studios, Lucan Place, Southwest London
1954 507 A Woodland Scene
1955 162 Meadow with Rushes and Blackthorn
         323 Collecting Caterpillars
1956 131 The Shelving Beach
         357 Still Life: Christmas Tree
1957 433 Summer
         679 The Bird Watcher
1958 76 The May Picnic
         112 Midummer's Eve 'Rock'
         642 The Midsummer Meadow
1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974,
from 3 Curran Studios, Lucan Place, SW 3
1975 1032 Walberswick Ferry
         1254 Southwold Harbour: Morning
1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992

Works by This Artist