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Caricature - Lionel Morton conducting a performance of <font -i>Gay's The Word</font -i>
  • Lionel Morton conducting a performance of Gay's The Word
    Sommerlad, Gilbert, born 1904 - died 1976
  • Enlarge image

Lionel Morton conducting a performance of Gay's The Word

  • Object:

    Caricature

  • Place of origin:

    Oxford (made)

  • Date:

    16 July 1952 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sommerlad, Gilbert, born 1904 - died 1976 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil on cream cartridge paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Michael Sommerlad

  • Museum number:

    S.130:2-2002

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This caricature shows Lionel Morton conducting the musical play Gay's The Word at the Oxford New Theatre on 16 July 1952. It was drawn by Gilbert Sommerlad (1904-1976), a rehearsal pianist and orchestral violinist at the Brighton Theatre Royal from 1932 until 1936, and at the Oxford New Theatre from 1936 for over forty years. Sommerlad sketched the stars on stage when he wasn't needed in the orchestra pit, compiling the sketches in a series of albums.

Gay's The Word, Ivor Novello's musical with lyrics by Alan Melville, concerned the owner of a drama school, Gay Daventry, who wants to bring a musical to London. It opened at the Saville Theatre in February 1951 and after a successful London run, toured to large provincial venues including the New Theatre.

Physical description

Pencil caricature of Lionel Morton conducting a performance of Gay's The Word, dated 16 July 1952, part of an artist's hard-backed sketch book manufactured by George Rowney & Co., called 'The Euston Sketch Book'. The pencilled sketch is drawn directly onto the page (cream cartridge paper). Titled and dated by the artist and signed by the subject.

Place of Origin

Oxford (made)

Date

16 July 1952 (dated)

Artist/maker

Sommerlad, Gilbert, born 1904 - died 1976 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil on cream cartridge paper

Dimensions

Height: 16.8 cm, Width: 11.8 cm

Object history note

The artist of these caricatures, Gilbert Sommerlad, was by profession a musician who was born into a family that had a long tradition of professional musicians. In 1936 he moved to the recently built New Theatre, Oxford, to join his brother Roy (violin and clarinet) as resident pianist.

Gilbert was an exceptionally good and popular rehearsal pianist, and visiting companies and individual performers used to make sure that he would be available. He became well-known in the profession and his ability as a caricaturist became common knowledge. The volume that includes this drawing contains sketches mostly of musical directors and conductors working at the Oxford New Theatre with Gilbert Sommerlad.

Descriptive line

Pencil caricature by Gilbert Sommerlad (1904-1976) of Lionel Morton conducting a performance of Gay's The Word at the Oxford New Theatre. Dated 16 July 1952

Subjects depicted

Conductors (musicians)

Categories

Caricatures & Cartoons; Drawings; Entertainment & Leisure

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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