George & Ann Dannatt : A 1960’s Travelogue

George & Ann Dannatt on the occasion of their first visit to Cornwall, 1963

This online exhibition showcases some of the principal travel events and the resulting artwork produced and purchased by George and Ann Dannatt in the 1960s. To date the most comprehensive biographical notes on George Dannatt are those presented by Jackie Sarafopoulos in a Chronology, in Brandon Taylor (Ed.), St. Ives and British Modernism – The George and Ann Dannatt Collection, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, 2015. This publication marked the centenary of the birth of George Dannatt.

George and Ann Dannatt were meticulous record-keepers of personal and public events, visitors, travels, studio methods, purchases, exhibitions and correspondence with artists and friends. The George Dannatt Trust Archive (GDTA), includes diaries, photographs, travel ephemera, and art library and further material relating to the Dannatt Collection.

1960 3–19 July: The Dannatts visit the Venice Biennale. Artists in the British Pavilion are Geoffrey Clarke, Henry Cliffe, Merlyn Evans and Victor Pasmore. Grand Awards for painting go to Jean Fautrier and Hans Hartung, and to the Venetian painter Emilio Vedova. “Decided to stay whole two weeks in Venice & arranged this, went to look at and purchased painting [by Aldo Bonaldi] in San Vidal” (GD diary 11 July,1960)

Aldo Bonaldi : Effetto di Luce – Bianconero , c.1960 , Oil on paper, Galleria San Vidal, Venice

1961 “Travel to Italy, and Peggy Guggenheim Exhibition in Venice” (GD diary, November). 1962 George begins correspondence with Terry Frost, who recommends that the Dannatts visit Alex Mackenzie, John Wells and Denis Mitchell in St Ives.

1963 George begins correspondence with Patrick Heron. Later in the year he would conduct a survey of Heron’s London studio in Edith Grove in return for a painting. 10–14 May: The Dannatts’ first visit to Cornwall. “To Eagle’s Nest, Patrick Heron took us round St Ives, To DAM’s [Denis Mitchell’s] studio in Fore Street, 10th May, met Roy Conn, 12th, DAM called into Eagle’s Nest in evening” (AD diary, May). “We first met John Wells, my wife Ann & I, when Alex Mackenzie, fellow artist and friend took us to the house and studio which Wells, Johnny Wells as he was generally known, was then occupying, formerly the house of Stanhope Forbes “(GD diary, 14 May).

1964 George and Ann visit the 1964 Venice Biennale, noted for the appearance of Pop Art on an international stage. Robert Rauschenberg is awarded the Grand Prize for painting. “San Vidal. Bought [Guido] Carrer” [‘Lagoon (Venice)’] (AD diary, 13 July).

1965 April: George and Ann travel to Paris, Luxembourg and Genoa. George begins to collect ephemera from their travels, including tickets, receipts, bills from transportation, hotels, restaurants and exhibitions for use in his collages and mixed media artwork.

1968 November: George and Ann travel to Paris and purchase work by Georges Noel at Galerie Paul Facchetti.

1969 George retires from Blake & Dannatt and sells the family business to devote himself to full time painting. The artist Breon O’Casey sees some of his paintings and urges him to exhibit.

Venice 1960s, photograph by George Dannatt

George Dannatt (1915-2009) Venice Reflections , 1963, Gouache on paper

George Dannatt (1915-2009) Volterra, 1966, Mixed media on paper

Venice, 1960s photograph by George Dannatt
Guido Carrer (1902-1984) Lagoon (Venice), 1963, Oil on canvas
Ulrico Schettini (b.1932) London, 1961 Watercolour on paper
Roy Conn (1931-2018) Blue, Green and Red, 1965, Oil on paper

A Viewing Room: George & Ann Dannatt: A 1960’s Travelogue is available from 7th-12th May 2021:

Further information about George Dannatt and the George Dannatt Trust can be found at

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