CHEESE, Bernard

1925 - 2013

Bernard Cheese

Bernard Cheese was born in Sydenham, London on 20 January 1925, son of Gordon William Cheese (16 July 1891-1972), a taxi driver, and his wife Rose Victoria née Watson (6 August 1891-1976) who in 1939, were living at 2b Maberley Road, Beckenham, Kent. Bernard studied at Beckenham School of Art and, after four years in the army, in 1947 enrolled at the Royal College of Art and in 1949 exhibited at the Royal Institute a lithograph 'Lord Mayor's Show' and in 1950 at the Senefelder Club 'Green and Blue Parrot'. Cheese's enthusiasm for lithography was fired by Edwin La Dell (1914-1970) who encouraged Cheese to go out into the streets to record London life in the markets, pubs, and parks and to mingle with the crowd, sketchbook in hand, and observe. At the Royal College, Cheese met a fellow student, Sheila Robinson (16 January 1925-2 November 1988), the Nottinghamshire-born printmaker and illustrator and they married at Chelsea in 1951, and lived at Beaufort Street, Chelsea. Both artists worked on Festival of Britain murals alongside their art-school tutor and close friend Edward Bawden. Bawden introduced the couple to Great Bardfield, Essex where their first child, Chloe, now a celebrated artist, was born in 1952. The following year they moved to Bardfield End Green, Thaxted, where their son Benjamin, was born in 1954. Cheese established his studio at a former fish & chip shop in Great Bardfield and both he and his wife taught printmaking at London art schools: Cheese at St Martin's School of Art (1950-1968) and Robinson at the Royal College of Art. In 1958 Bernard and Sheila divorced and in the same year, at Bromley, Kent he married his former student Brenda Latham Brown and they moved to the nearby Stisted in Essex, where their two daughters were born. Lithography had become the favoured medium of the younger generation in the 1950/60s and there were more opportunities to publish and exhibit prints. Cheese was exhibiting at the Royal Academy 1950-1989 and as far afield as Beijing (1956), Stockholm (1960), Washington DC (1962) and New York (1968). In 1945 the brewers Guinness commissioned 'A Fisherman's Story' and his other clients included the BBC and A&C Black to P&O Cruises and in 1951, London Transport commissioned the first of several posters, Pantomimes and Circuses and La Dell asked him to contribute to Coronation Lithographs, a portfolio of 40 prints by staff and former students at the Royal College for a celebratory exhibition at the Redfern Gallery in 1953. Cheese was appointed senior lecturer at Goldsmiths College 1970-1978 and taught part-time at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London 1980-1989. He and his second wife Brenda separated in 1988, divorcing in 1992. Cheese settled at 2 High Street, Nayland, Suffolk, while he continued to travel in search of new subjects for watercolours that he subsequently reworked as lithographs, he turned increasingly to delightfully idiosyncratic still-life arrangements such as 'Trout on a Plate' and 'Victoria Plums and English Coxs'. A past member of the Suffolk Group of Artists and exhibited his works locally at the John Russell Gallery, Ipswich; Thompson Gallery, Aldeburgh, Suffolk and Fry Gallery, Saffron Walden, Essex. His works were acquired for many important collections, from the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Collection to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and New York Public Library although Cheese was not elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers until 1988. Bernard Cheese died on 15 March 2013.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 46a Sinclair Road, West London
1950 1077 'Gin and It' - lithograph
from 19 Oxford Road, Putney, West London
1957 1061 Evening on the Pier - lithograph
from 57 The Street, Sisted, Braintree, Essex
1958 1115 Little John’s Haven – lithograph
         1131 The Ebb Tide - lithograph
1960 1084 Pushing the Boat – lithograph.
         1086 Down in the Bay – lithograph
1962 803 Man on Stilts – lithograph
1964 820 Thicket – lithograph
         864 Fortified – lithograph
1967 844 Field of Beans – lithograph
1968 614 Cornfield – lithograph
1969 661 Burning Field - coloured print
from Gardener’s Cottage, Stisted, Braintree, Essex
1982 946 Avenue of Trees – lithograph
1983 924 Cows at Evening – lithograph
1986 1375 Hikerson a Pembroke Path – lithograph
         1414 Fun Run - lithograph
from 136 High Street, Earls Colne, Essex
1987 907 Powis Castle Garden - watercolour
1988 1229 Village in Provence - lithograph
1989 123 Sunday in the Garden – lithograph
1992 179 Vineyards at Mirabel – lithograph
1994 172 Field of Sunflowers – lithograph
1998 165 Picnic on the Beach – lithograph
from 2 High Street, Nayland, Suffolk
2001 736 Rainbow Trout – lithograph

Works by This Artist