Credit Suisse providing free entry to Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery’s Mervyn Peake exhibition on 30 and 31 July

July 25th, 2011 by Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery

Credit Suisse will be offering free entrance to the Mervyn Peake exhibition over the weekend of 30 and 31 July 2011 as part of its annual celebration of Swiss National Day.

The Swiss bank is sponsoring the summer-long exhibition at Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery featuring the work of the late Mervyn Peake as part of its 25th anniversary of business in the island this year.

Mervyn Peake's wife Maeve Gilmore with their two sons and pet donkey at their home in Sark, 1947. (Click image to expand - image ©Mervyn Peake Estate)

The exhibition entitled Mervyn Peake’s Sark: ‘To the sweep of a steel bay’ examines some of the artworks and illustrations produced by Peake during his time in Sark, which was fortunate to offer a home to Peake on two separate occasions. The first when he was still a student at the Royal Academy Schools, and then again in 1946 with his family.

The exhibition comprises mainly of material loaned to the Museum from the Mervyn Peake estate, much of it on public display for the first time. More than 4,500 people have visited since it opened in early May.

Country Head for the Channel Islands, Roy McGregor, said it was delighted to share Swiss National Day with visitors to the exhibition. ‘Staff at Credit Suisse always celebrate Swiss National Day and this year we are pleased to be able to share our celebrations with islanders by offering free entry to the exhibition this weekend.’

Since his death in 1968, following a battle with Parkinson’s disease, admiration of Peake’s talents as a writer as well as artist and illustrator have grown and he now has a worldwide fan base. This year marks the centenary of his birth on 9 July 1911 and his work and life have been featured in national newspapers and on BBC radio programmes. A 30-minute interview with his son, Sebastian Peake, was recorded during a visit to Guernsey and Sark in May and was broadcast earlier this month. It is still available for download on the BBC Radio 4 website under the title ‘A Hundred Years of Mervyn Peake’.

Swiss National Day is only just over a century old but the event it commemorates took place more than 700 years ago. The day was chosen because 1 August 1291 was the date on which three Alpine cantons swore the oath of confederation, an act which later came to be regarded as the foundation of Switzerland. For most Swiss people, the day is celebrated with bonfires, fireworks and barbecues.

The exhibition, “Mervyn Peake’s Sark: ‘To the sweep of a steel bay’”, is open from 5 May to 11 September 2011, between 10 am and 5 pm daily.


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