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Caricature - Julian Clifford conducting <font -i>Carousel</font -i>
  • Julian Clifford conducting Carousel
    Sommerlad, Gilbert, born 1904 - died 1976
  • Enlarge image

Julian Clifford conducting Carousel

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Oxford (made)

  • Date:

    7 April 1953 (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:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This caricature shows Julian Clifford conducting Carousel at the Oxford New Theatre on 7 April 1953. 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.

Julian Clifford was a conductor and composer who worked for the BBC, and was the son of a musician also called Julian Clifford. The musical Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein, ran for over 500 performances at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane where it opened originally in June 1950. This week at the Oxford New Theatre was part of the post-West End tour.

Physical description

Pencil caricature of Julian Clifford conducting Carousel, dated 7 April 1953, 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)


7 April 1953 (dated)


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

Materials and Techniques

Pencil on cream cartridge paper


Height: 17.4 cm, Height: 17.4 cm, Width: 12.4 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 Julian Clifford conducting Carousel, Oxford New Theatre. Dated 7 April 1953

Subjects depicted

Conductors (musicians)


Caricatures & Cartoons; Drawings; Entertainment & Leisure


Theatre and Performance Collection

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