Portrait of Basil Bunting unveiled
(17 March 2004)
The Basil Bunting Poetry Centre at the University of Durham extends its world class archive dedicated to the Northumbrian poet this week with the acquisition of an oil portrait by the eminent German-American artist Karl Drerup.
The portrait of the poet will be formally presented to the university by the artist’s son, Oliver Dreup in the presence of members of the Bunting family and guests from the wider arts community on Friday 19 March at the University Library’s Archives and Special Collections at Palace Green.
Bunting and Dreup met whilst living and working among the artistic avant-garde community on Tenerife in the 1930’s. The accomplished painter, ceramist and engraver and international modernist poet both produced outstanding work on the island which formed the basis of their later reputation and forged a continuing friendship which lasted for most of the twentieth century.
Dr Diana Collecott, The Basil Bunting Poetry Centre said:” We are delighted to reunite representatives from both families to remember the English poet and the German artist who created their own unique alliance against the backdrop of war. Together we celebrate an important period in the lives of two families, caught up in the politics of the time, who managed to carve out a lifelong friendship of mutual support.”
As well as the striking portrait of Bunting, painted in New York in 1939, a view of Puerto de la Cruz and Mount Teide will also go on public display alongside documents and photographs from the Bunting and Drerup collections which compliment the exhibition.
Photo Opportunity:- Oliver Drerup and Dr Collecott will be available for interviews and photos at Palace Green Library on Friday 19 March from 5-6p.m.
For more information contact:
Dr Diana Collecott, Basil Bunting Poetry Centre tel: 01833-627-585 or c/o Tricia Alderson at Palace Green Library, tel. 0191-334-2951.
Notes to Editors
The Basil Bunting Poetry Archive was established in 1988 in the University Library, and the Basil Bunting Poetry Centre associated with it.
The Centre fosters study and research on Northumbrian poet Basil Bunting, and on poets associated with him through the region, or on the modernist/post modernist tradition. The Centre also continues to promote the practice of "live" poetry reading which Bunting championed, and gives support to the development of the Bunting Archive. The material is held in Durham University Library's Archives and Special Collections at Palace Green. The collection, formally opened by the University’s then Chancellor, Dame Margot Fonteyn, includes manuscripts, printed material, photographs, recordings and films relating to Bunting.