BULMER, Lionel Victor

1919 - 1992

Lionel Bulmer

Lionel Victor Bulmer, was born at Wandsworth, London on 12 June 1919, third and youngest child of Francis Holles Bulmer, an architect, and his wife Annie Cecilia née Shelley, who married at Lambeth in 1905. At the age of 17, he entered Clapham Art School for two years before being conscription into the army at the outbreak of the Second World War, but continued his painting in his free time. On demobilisation, he returned to his artistic career being accepted as a student at the Royal College of Art, still then relocated at Ambleside in the Lake District. Among his classmates was Margaret Green [q.v.] and they soon became inseparable, working side by side on sketching trips and on paintings back in the college studio, although they did not marry until just before Lionel's death in 1991. The Royal College returned to Exhibition Road, Kensington when his tuition continued under Ruskin Spear (1911-1990), Carel Weight (1908-1997) and Charles Mahoney (1903-1968). Lionel and Margaret set to work in Chelsea, through one of Margaretís many student prizes, a £160 travelling scholarship, funded almost a year of frugal travel through France and Ireland. To support their painting, the partners accepted part-time teaching posts in art schools, Lionel at Kingston and Margaret, firstly at Walthamstow and then at the Royal Academy Schools. In the late 1950's, they purchased an unrestored old house in West Suffolk for £850. Restoring a rather noble building dating from the Middle Ages, bulldozed the jungle to plant a paradise of flower, fruit and vegetable beds, which took them towards self-sufficiency and neither ever tired of painting. They adored the beach at Aldeburgh, with the two lookout towers and the tram-like tracks for hauling fishing boats up and down the shingle. They then discovered Walberswick and Southwold with the resulting flood of canvases suggesting that the two figures were fixtures on the beach and beside the harbour over every high summer between 1960 and 1990. Lionel died at Lodge Cottage, Buxhall Vale, Stowmarket, Suffolk on 10 February 1992.








Works by This Painter