My first stop was Coventry - not only did I have an appointment to see a recently discovered Dovecot tapestry, I also wanted to see Coventry Cathedral and the immense tapestry designed by Graham Sutherland and woven in France. The Sutherland tapestry has a history with Dovecot: it was originally hoped that it would be woven in the UK at Dovecot's Edinburgh workshop, but the commission eventually went to the Pinton Freres in France. It is a long and convoluted drama best kept for another time!
|Coventry Cathedral, designed by Basil Spence, view of the altar, incuding Christ in Majesty (designed by Graham Sutherland and woven by Pinton Freres, France)|
Herbert Museum and Art Gallery. His sketched for the seated figure were created according to a number of gridlines and mathematical calculations. It was surprising to see such technical care being taken by an artist whose paintings have a free and immediate feel to them.
Royal Commission for Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland in Edinburgh. Some of the correspondance between Spence and the studio referred to a coat of arms designed and woven for the Cappers Company at Coventry Cathedral.
The Cappers Meeting Room was the only room to survive the WWII bombing of Coventry Cathedral, excluding the tower. In the early 1950s it was repaired and Edinburgh Tapestry Company was commissioned to design and weave a commemorative tapestry featuring their coat of arms.
The tapestry has survived in good condition, but is sadly rarely seen. Reaching the room requires climbing up a very narrow, dark staircase - not suitable for large numbers of people! Despite it's location in a rather chilly, unused room its colours are still as vibrant as they originally were and the design has Sax Shaw's distinctive style about it.