1923 - 1987

Edward Middleditch

Edward Charles Middleditch was born at Chelmsford, Essex on 23 March 1923, second of the three sons of Charles Henry Middleditch (24 March 1894-17 June 1977), a packing case maker, and his wife Esmie née Buckley (19 March 1893-14 May 1969), who married at Chelmsford in 1918. The family moved to Nottingham, where third son Ray was born in 1925, and where Edward attended Mundella Grammar School 1934-1939. In 1939 the family returned to live at 46 Park Avenue, Chelmsford, from where Edward attended King Edward VI grammar school. Despite wishing to be a conscientious objector he joined the Middlesex Regiment in 1944 and saw active service in France and Germany before being severely wounded and invalided home and, as Lieut. Middleditch, was awarded the Military Cross in 1945. Following the surrender of Japan, in 1946 Edward went to Burma before going to West Africa during the Independence struggles and having caught malaria, was again invalided home. In 1947 he married at Kensington, London, Jean Kathleen Whitehouse (6 August 1924-1980) and their daughter Emily Jane was born at Ipswich in 1963. To further his education, he attended Regent Street Polytechnic and in 1949 attended the Royal College of Art until 1952 under tutors John Minton (1917-1957), Ruskin Spear (1911-1990) and Carel Weight (1908-1990), when his contemporaries included Malcolm Hughes (1920-1997), Derrick Greaves (1927-2016) and Jack Smith (1928-2011). In 1954 he took a part-time teaching position at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham and was second prize-winner in the `Daily Express Young Artists Exhibition' with 'Chicken in a Flooded Stream', the first prize being won by Lucian Freud's 'Hotel Room' and Edward was commissioned to produce a print for Lyons Tearooms. During the mid 1950s he established himself as one of the most powerful young painters and draughtsmen in Britain being initially associated with the kitchen sink painters, John Bratby (1928-1992) and Jack Smith (1928-2011) with Edward devoting himself chiefly to natural themes. Edward's work over the following decades concentrated principally on the elements, from the weight of a massive hillside to the lightness of sun dancing on water or darting through foliage. His work became increasingly abstract and stylised, inspired by kilims and Persian carpets, and even used stencilling to create a patterned, decorative response to nature. During this time, he took several teaching positions and in 1955 Middleditch and Greaves moved to Ivy House, Buckinghamshire and, in collaboration with Greaves, painted a mural on the theme of the four seasons for the library of Nuffield College, Oxford. In 1962 he moved to the Old School House, Boxford, Suffolk in which year was awarded a Gulbenkian Foundation Scholarship, he remained at Boxford until shortly before his death. In 1964, appointed part-time Head of Department of Fine Art at Norwich School of Art and on 26 April 1968 elected an Associate Member of the Royal Academy and a Full Member on 26 May 1973. He retired as Head of Fine Art at Norwich School of Art in 1984 and elected Keeper of the Royal Academy, in charge of the schools and the following year a selector of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Ill-health forced his retirement from the Royal Academy in 1986 and Edward Charles Middleditch died at 40 Park Avenue, Chelmsford on 29 July 1987.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 46 Eardley Crescent, Earl's Court, Southwest London
1949 64 The Embankment
         608 In the Park
1950 230 The Fountain
         285 Trafalgar Square
         330 Admiralty Arch
1956 377 Sea and Rocks
         407 Boscastle
         423 Chicken in a Flooded Stream
from Ivy House, Gt Lingford, Bucks.
1957 492 Irises
         507 The Pool, Langford Grove
         546 Roses
from c/o Norwich School of Art, St George's Street, Norwich
1968 767 Sheffield Wier II
from The School House, Edwardstone, Suffolk
1969 869 Rose Drawing II - charcoal
         870 Garden Landscape - charcoal
         1207 Roses - charcoal
         1209 Roses and Shadows
         1211 Rose Trytych - charcoal
         1214 Cornfield, Edwardstone - charcoal
1970 332 The Park
         334 Garden Landscape
         335 Summer Landscape
         355 Seascape - acrylic
         365 Flood acrylic
         383 Garden and Trees - acrylic
1971 13 Still Life
         75 Sea
         339 Landscape
1972 14 Flowerpiece
         206 Seascape - charcoal
         213 Summer Drawing - charcoal
         220 Landscape - charcoal
         791 Sea Flower, 1971
         916 White Carnations
1974 88 Landscape
         104 Sea Flower II
         485 Sea Flower IV
         486 Sea Flower I
         953 Seascape
         957 Sea Flower III
1976 332
         1301 Reflected Landscape
1977 23 Cornfield and Poppy
         431 Apple Blossom
         435 Stubble Field
         721 Seascape, Dorset - charcoal
         864 Still Life
         865 Cornfield
1978 439 Painting 1977
         446 Painting II 1977
         507 Flower Piece
         511 Roses
         910 Still Life
         959 Seascape
1980 626 Sugar Beet and Corn Stubble - charcoal
         627 Rose and Daisies - charcoal
         628 Apple Trees and Roses
         629 Roses - charcoal
         630 Sea and Flowers - charcoal
         631 Cornfield - charcoal
1981 609 Landscape with Flowers - charcoal
         610 Flower Study - charcoal
         611 Rose Study - charcoal
         612 Still Life with Flowers - charcoal
         613 Flowers in a Glass Vase - charcoal
         614 Flowers - charcoal
1982 706 Flower Study mixed media
         708 Landscape Study mixed media
         713 Landscape Study II mixed media
1983 1319 Beanfield - charcoal
         1320 Field of Oats after Storm - charcoal
         1321 Field of Oats - charcoal
         1322 Burning Stubble - charcoal
         1323 Beanfield II - charcoal
         1324 Stubble Field - charcoal
1984 875 Spanish Landscape - charcoal
         878 Flower Study - charcoal
         879 Rose and Apple Tree - charcoal
         889 The Pond, Reflection - charcoal
1986 527 Sea Flower
         534 Summer Still-Life

Works by This Artist