TitleNigel Surry Archive
Admin/Biog HistoryNigel W. Surry was born in Portsmouth in 1936, the only son of Launcelot and Marjorie Surry (nee Moody). Launcelot Surry was a journalist and author, whose book, 'Portraits of Edward VI' was published in 1925. Nigel Surry was educated at Portsmouth Southern Grammar School between 1947 and 1955. From there he went on to complete two years National Service in the Royal Corps of Signals, and in 1957 he went up to Jesus College, Oxford, graduating with a B.A.(Hons) in Modern History in 1960. He married Janet Thompson in 1963.

Between 1963 and 1987 Surry was employed as a lecturer in the Department of Historical and Literary Studies, Portsmouth Polytechnic. He also taught part-time for The Open University 1970-72 and 1976-78, and was a visiting lecturer at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 1979-80.
On retirement, he pursued his interest in local history in Hampshire, including Portsmouth and the surrounding area, taking a keen interest in 18th Century British artists of the time. During his research, he came across a copy of the 'Salisbury Journal' (No 593 dated 2 July 1749) that contained the obituary of the portrait artist George Beare, an English artist active in Salisbury between 1745 and 1749.

In 1989 Surry's research resulted in an exhibition of George Beare's work at Pallant House, in Chichester, for which he also wrote the catalogue. His research culminated in the following publications:
-Surry, N.W. (1986), 'George Beare: A Note on Current Research,' The Burlington Magazine, 128 (1002), 745-749
-Surry, N.W.(1989) ,'George Beare: Very human pictures of ordinary people, whose style and quality ranks them alongside the work of Hogarth and Hudson.' Pallant House Exhibition 11 Nov- 30 Dec., Chichester, Pallant House.
-Surry, N.W. (2015), 'The Elusive Mr Beare and other Essays,' Sudbury, The Fortune Press.
DescriptionThe archive contains material compiled and created by Surry in the course of his research on George Beare, starting in the 1980s and continuing until 2017 when the collection was given to the Centre.. It includes research correspondence with archives, museums, art dealers, academics, owners and relatives of sitters. It includes Surry's own research notes and photographs of the portraits he studied.

The archive also includes material relating to the exhibition organised by Surry at Pallant House, in Chichester, titled 'George Beare: Very human portraits of ordinary people of the 1740's by an artist whose style and quality at their best rank him alongside his contemporaries Hogarth and Hudson' (Pallant House: Chichester, 1989). It includes correspondence relating to the planning, organising, publicity and reviews of the exhibition. It also includes photographs of the works displayed.

The archive is arranged into two series reflecting the manner in which it was originally organised by Surry:
-General Research on George Beare
-George Beare Exhibition Pallant House
Date[c 1980-2017]
Extent1 box (9 files)

NWS Fonds.jpg

Image CaptionFront cover of Surry, N.W. (2015), 'The Elusive Mr Beare and other Essays,' Sudbury, The Fortune Press
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