1904 – 1965
Betty Rea (Bevan), great niece of Dr Barnardo, was born in London. She studied art at Regent Street Polytechnic and continued her training at the RCA in 1924 in sculpture under Moore and Ernest Cole. She married James Rea in 1926 and divorced in 1942.
She became a political activist, anti fascism and left wing, and was secretary for the Artists’ International Movement from 1934-6. During the war she taught art to evacuated children in Huntingdonshire making her home with the artist Nan Youngman. They founded the initiative to loan art works to schools. She later taught at Homerton College. She became recognised for her realism in the 50’s and exhibited with Paul Hogarth and Carel Weight in Looking at People, which was sent on to Moscow in 1957.
Her works are modelled in clay and then cast up into ciment fondu, bronze or resin. Living close to the sculptor John Mills in Cambridge she was able to see her later works completed by him. Her son Julian is a Trustee for Harlow Art.
The two works we have in Harlow Kore (Old Harlow) and Stretching (Gibberd Garden) are girl figures in naturalistic poses.
Ht 150 cm
Kore was purchased in 1975 in celebration of the European Council Architectural Heritage Award for Old Harlow. Funds came from the Trust and Harlow Development Corporation. It was unveiled by Sir Thomas Monington, President of the Royal Academy.
See Friends Newsletter No 20 May 2014 for more information and biography