Bembridge, Isle of Wight: 1930. 6 ¼” x 9 ¼”. Full faux leather. 48 leaves; 20 with a black and white photograph adhesive mounted to rectos, one with an inscription, one with a news clipping, the rest are blank. Photos measure 4 5/8” x 6¼”. Near fine or better.
This is a presentation album to Olympic gold medalist Stanley Bacon, from British artist Cavendish Morton. Bacon was a wrestler who competed for England in the 1908, 1912 and 1920 Olympics, winning his gold in 1908 in the freestyle middleweight class. Morton had an 80+ year career as an impressionistic landscape painter, designer and illustrator and was also a member of the Norwich Twenty Group.
The album begins with a handsome manuscript title page in Morton's hand memorializing his friendship with Bacon which arose from their “struggles of muscle and mind.” What follows are 20 professionally composed photographs depicting one to three wrestlers on a beach. Dressed in contemporary wrestling gear, one of the men is a 45 year old Bacon, while the other two are far younger and we think it likely that they are Morton and his twin brother Concord, despite a slightly differing appearance. They men are seen in both dramatic posed shots, as well as in the act of wrestling.
The year of the album is significant as Morton, then 19 years old, had his first works exhibited at the Royal Academy. Near fine. Item #3567