1905 b. March 25th. Elvaston Place, South Kensington, London. English Painter Only surviving son of Henry Curteis Burra a barrister and his wife Ermentrude Anne Robertson-Luxford. Northaw Place prep school, Potters Bar. (Withdrawn due to ill health). Educated at home.
1920 Visits Switzerland with his mother. 1921 Takes art lessons with Miss Bradley in Rye. 1921 - 1923 Chelsea Polytechnic. 1922 Became interested in films whilst at Chelsea Polytechnic and also jazz. 1923 - 1925 Royal College of Art. 1925 Travelled to Paris with his friend the dancer and producer William Chappell ->. Oct; Joined the London Film Society with his friend the photographer Barbara Ker-Seymer ->. 1926 Visits his sister Anne in Florence with his family. He was particularly keen on the Botticellis in the Uffizi Gallery. 1927 Jan; visits Paris again and the South of France. Becomes friendly with Paul Nash who lived near Rye at the time. Exhibited in the New English Art Club show, probably encouraged by Nash. 1928 Visited Toulon with Chappell and, amongst other people, the writer Anthony Powell ->. Dec. Meets Frederick Ashton -> in Paris. 1929 First one-man exhibition at the Leicester Galleries in London. Honky-Tonk Girl ->. Became interested in the works of George Grosz which he had seen in periodicals given to him by Paul Nash. ''Dockside Cafe, Marseilles.
1930 Visits France again with Paul Nash. Collage ->. 1931 Introduced to the American poet Conrad Aiken -> by Nash. He had settled in Rye the previous year and this was the start of a lifelong friendship. May; Visits Paris again. 1932 Showed some "decorative objects" at the Zwemmer Gallery. June; Second one-man exhibition at the Leicester Galleries. Illustrates Humbert Woolf ->'s "ABC of the Theatre". Designs the sets and costumes for Frederick Ashton's ballet Rio Grande. 1933 Visits Paris, Spain, New York and Boston. Opium Den
and Harlem Theatre ->. 1934 Exhibits at the Unit One -> exhibition at the Mayor Gallery in London. 1935 Visits Barcelona and Madrid. 1936 Designs sets and costumes for Ninette de Valois ->'s ballet Barabau at Saddlers Wells Theatre. June; represented in the International Surrealist Exhibition in London. Signs the statement by the English Surrealist Group which appears in the International Surrealist Bulletin No 4. Dec. Exhibits in "Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism" at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. 1937 Stays in Boston with his friends the Aikens. 1938 Exhibits in the International Surrealist Exhibition the Gallerie des Beaux Arts in Paris. July; Visits Dublin and the West of Ireland. 1939 Included in the British Pavilion at the New York World Fair. Visits Milan and Venice with his sister Anne. 1940 Spends much of the War years at his home, Springfield, near Rye as travel is difficult. 1942 Retrospective exhibition at the Redfern Gallery, London. 1944 Designs sets and costumes for Robert Helpman ->'s ballet Miracle in the Gorbals. 1946 Stayed at Grasmere in the Lake District with his friend Conrad Aiken ->. 1947 Designs sets and costumes for Bizet's Carmen at the Royal Opera House. Visits Dublin with his sister Anne. 1948 Designs sets and costumes for Ashton's Ballet Don Juan. Illustrates Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. 1949 One man exhibition at the Leicester Galleries, London. 1950 Designs sets and costumes for De Valois's ballet Don Quixote. 1951 Included in the Art's Council Festival of Britain exhibition. 1952 First exhibition at the Lefevre Gallery in London. Visits Paris and Barcelona. 1953 Stays with the Aikens at Cape Cod in America. The Burra family leave Springfield for Chapel House in the middle of Rye which had been built for them. 1955 Visits New York and Boston. 1958? Death of his father. 1959 Visits Paris and has a one man exhibition at the Lefevre Gallery. 1961 Visits Paris and has a one man exhibition at the Lefevre Gallery. 1962? Last visit to Ireland. Takes day trips top Boulougne. Visits the Francis Bacon -> Exhibition at the Tate Gallery. 1963 When the Royal Academy rang to ask if he would consider becoming an associate, he shouted downstairs to his manservant, who had picked up the telephone: Tell them to fuck off, I'm busy. 1964 First visit to Holland with his sister. Meets Francis Bacon -> via his friend John Banting. 1965? Visits Norwich with his sister. One man exhibition at the Lefevere Gallery. Aug; Visits Florence. 1966 Visits Lincoln, Boston and Kings Lynn. Sept; Revisits friends in Florence. 1967 Visits Peterborough, Norwich and the North Norfolk coast with his sister. Two visits to Harrogate. 1968 Death of his Mother. 1969? Moves to 2 Springfield Cottages, a cottage next to his former home at Playden, near Rye. Visits Rochester, the Peak District, Bath and Salisbury. 1970 Visits Norwich with his sister. Spends August in Penzance, Cornwall with his sister. 1971? Visits Bath and then on to the South Wales Valleys. Shows new work at the Lefevre Gallery and early woodcuts at the Treadwell Gallery in London. June; Awarded a C.B.E. in the Birthday Honours list. Visits Liverpool and Snowdonia Oct; Starts his first etchings. 1972? Visits North Yorkshire and Northumberland with his sister. 1973: Visits the Lake District with his sister. May; Edward Burra Retrospective of 143 of his pictures at the Tate Gallery. Sept. Visits Tavistock and Dartmoor with his sister. 1974? Visits North Yorkshire with his sister; Northumberland, (Lindisfarne and Warkworth Castle) and then on to Scotland to the Cairngorms. Breaks his hip during the year from which he never fully recovered. 1976 d. October 22nd. Hastings, England. Buried at Rye Cemetery, Rye, East Sussex. See at the tate -> and Hastings to Harlem and back -> See wiki ->. See also this blog Pt1 -> and PtII -> and also ->. Bibliography Edward Burra: Twentieth-Century Eye -> - Jane Stevenson (2008); with Review ->. Edward Burra -> - Simon Martin (2011). See Timeline