Nearly a dozen oil paintings by Sir Winston Churchill will be on display in Palm Desert starting Wednesday.
The collection will be featured at Heather James Fine Art, at 45188 Portola Ave., from Wednesday through May 30, before traveling to San Francisco in June, then to Wyoming through September.
The 11 paintings, created from the 1920s to the 1940s, comes from the collection of the late Julian Sandys, the eldest of Churchill’s grandchildren, and depict landscapes, friends’ estates and family vacation spots, including some of the two-time British prime minister’s favorite travel destinations in France and Morocco, according to Heather James Fine Art.
Exhibition organizers say Churchill took up painting at age 40, following his forced resignation as First Lord of the Admiralty following the disastrous Gallipoli campaign in Turkey. Art became a refuge for the statesman, and a largely personal one, with works shared mostly as gifts to family and friends. He submitted a few of his paintings to local exhibitions, typically under a pseudonym.
“Although painting was just a hobby, Churchill learned new skills which he used in his political and diplomatic life,” said Churchill’s great- grandson, Duncan Sandys. “It gave him a sanctuary during adversity and, I believe, made him more effective in 1940 as Hitler prepared to invade Britain.”
The undertaking stuck with Churchill even after he left politics. He wrote, “When I get to heaven, I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting, and so get to the bottom of the subject.”
Organizers say the works will give guests insight into a rarely seen, private side of the man who led the country from the brink of defeat to victory in World War II
“It’s a unique honor to offer paintings by Sir Winston Churchill that come directly from immediate members of his family,” said James Carona, founder of Heather James Fine Art. “They represent highly personal reflections of one of the world’s greatest leaders.”
— City News Service
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