Museum purchases painting by Swindon treasure Ken White. So thank goodness for that! Brilliant news in this article by the Swindon Link magazine that: “Thanks to the Friends of Swindon Railway Museum, the STEAM Museum has now acquired a painting produced by Swindon’s internationally acclaimed artist and muralist, Ken White. The oil on canvas painting entitled The Rivet Hotters depicts a group of GWR rivet hotters who are gathered round a brazier, making their toast at lunchtime … ‘
Ken White’s murals have been a part of Swindon’s artistic landscape for many years now, though sadly much of his work exists only in photographic records held by Swindon local. As the Link Magazine article points out it is ironic that: “there is not a single painting of Ken’s in Swindon’s art collection, although McArthur-Glen bought seven canvasses for the Designer Outlet Village, and Steam Museum have a couple of Ken’s works on loan.”
It goes on to say that Ken is saddened by the disappearance of so much of old Swindon and the demise of its heritage … he further commented that: “Swindon doesn’t know what it’s got. We should keep what we’ve got and look after our history.” And, while I don’t especially want to rant and moan on this blog, I’m rather afraid I have to agree with him. There’s an old canal bridge with once lovely painted friezes on it going to rack and ruin for a start. And then most of the contents of the West Swindon sculpture tour are in need of TLC, ‘White Horse Pacified’ in particular but they could all do with a piff up.