Power, Cyril Edward (1874-1951)

Cyril Edward Power, born in Kensington in 1872, followed at first in his father and grandfather’s footsteps practising as an architect in London and Bury St Edmunds. Winner of the Soane Medal in 1900, he lectured in architectural design and history at the Bartlett School UCL and Goldsmith’s College. He married Dorothy Nunn, a farmer's daughter from Bury St Edmunds, in 1904 and they had three sons and a daughter. 1912 saw the publication of his three-volume History of Mediaeval Architecture (Talbot Press) illustrated by his own pen and ink drawings. A man, however, of wide interests and abilities -  he played  the piano and violin, collected early musical instruments, loved genealogy, heraldry and the liturgy of the Catholic Church, - he turned to painting watercolours of Bury and the surrounding area and produced the first of many  architectural dry points. In 1921 began a long and fruitful working partnership with Sybil Andrews, a former  pupil from Bury St Edmunds with whom he held joint exhibitions of watercolours and pastels in that city.  In 1923 they enrolled at Heatherley’s School of Art in London and in 1925 Cyril Power helped set up the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in Warwick Square. It was here, under Claude Flight, that he learnt the art of linocutting. Fascination with pattern and structure, colour and dynamism led to the series of prints for which he is best known. Exhibitions of his linocuts were held regularly at the Redfern Gallery. In collaboration with Sybil Andrews he was commissioned to produce posters for the London Passenger Transport Board. The second World War brought this activity and partnership to an end and he spent his last years at home in New Malden painting exuberant flowers and still lifes in oils. He died in 1951.

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