Old Bedalian artists in the Archive

By Ian Douglas, Librarian


Bedales Memorial Library, 1925, woodcut by Julian Trevelyan published in a short-lived Bedales school magazine, The Ray

Bedalians should take care not to miss Julian Trevelyan: The Artist and his World, at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester until 10 February 2019. As the Country Life reviewer notes, this fascinating exhibition celebrates “a unique artistic vision that was first fostered at Bedales”.

Last week, the Bedales Archive was delighted to welcome James Scott, co-curator of the exhibition. He came to learn more about the febrile artistic environment which prevailed at Bedales in the early part of the 20th century, and which produced a crop of highly influential artists, patrons and art administrators. We were able to show James early work by such luminaries as John Rothenstein, Stephen Bone and Julian Trevelyan himself, including his woodcut of the newly-completed Memorial Library, reproduced above.

In particular, James was interested to learn more about ‘Gigi’ Innes Meo, who taught at the school from 1923 to 1940, and who was credited by Julian Trevelyan as a major influence. Another celebrated OB artist, Diana Armfield, has shared her own memories of Gigi here.

As well as these relics of a wonderful artistic heritage, our guest was also impressed by the new Art and Design Building, and pleased to see that a first class artistic education is still on offer to today’s generation of Bedalians.

The Bedales Archive is always happy to receive enquiries about any aspect of the history of the school, or to accept donations of artefacts or documents illustrating that history. Please contact archive@bedales.org.uk. A small selection of archive material is freely available online at the  Bedales Schools Digital Archive.

Arty OBs and new Art and Design Centre

Students follow a wide variety of careers after leaving Bedales, a significant one of which is art. We have recently spoken to Old Bedalians about their time at Bedales, including professional sculptor Simon Hitchens (OB 1985), artist/painter Anna Dickerson (OB 1991) and figurative painter Diana Armfield (OB 1937). To read their interviews click on the links above or visit the Bedales website. Reminder: An exhibition to reveal plans for a significant milestone in Bedales’ history – the new Art and Design Centre – will be held on Friday 17 May, 6pm to 8pm and Saturday 18 May, 11am to 1pm in the Reading Room, Orchard Building. All parents and their wider families, students, OBs, current and former staff are welcome. The exhibition will remain open on Monday 20 May, 11am to 4pm for students only.

Simon Hitchens OB


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.