The self-taught Welsh artist and horticulturalist was the only person of his generation to be nationally recognised as both a painter and a plantsman and the Garden Museum exhibition will be the first museum show of Morris’ work in more than 30 years.
Cedric Morris: Artist Plantsman focuses on his paintings of flowers and plants and consists of 34 paintings, the majority of which are on loan from private collections and have never been seen in public before. Highlights include a painting of irises from Tate and a self-portrait from the National Portrait Gallery.
Mould’s exhibition, Morris: Beyond the Garden Wall An Exhibition of the Travel Paintings of Sir Cedric Lockwood Morris, focuses on his landscape works including those from his travels around Europe and north Africa. A proportion of these works will be for sale.
Both exhibitions run from April 18-July 22.
Garden Museum curator Andrew Lambirth said: “By daring to celebrate the profusion of natural beauty when the avant-garde practice was all for geometric perfection, Morris not only bucked the trend but also made images of timeless delight which delve deeply to the heart of creation.”
Demand for Morris’s works has increased in recent years and an auction record was set at Chichester’s Henry Adams in April 2017 with the sale of Wild Flowers at £130,000.
Morris founded the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing in 1937 and was a mentor of artist Lucian Freud and friends with influential collector Peggy Guggenheim.
He died in 1982 and the inscription chosen for the headstone to his grave was the simple phrase ‘Artist Plantsman’.