Cylinders, finding the barn

< back

Schwitters:
‘Mr. Pierce let me have the barn. He is a small farmer and landscape gardener. He and his son are very helpful.’

‘T
his is the happiest day of my life’  (When Mr. Pierce said yes and  Schwitters gratefully accepted )

In the summer of 1947, Mr. Harry Pierce, professional landscape architect, noticed in the house of a friend, Dr. Johnston, a portrait by Schwitters which he much admired.

He therefore invited the artist to visit him at ‘Cylinders’ farm to paint his portrait. There, Pierce showed Schwitters around his estate, a section of which he had converted from rough land into a delightful garden.

It was here that Schwitters noticed an unused straw barn which Pierce had built during the war from old Lakeland stone. Pressed by Wantee, Schwitters asked if he could use the barn for his work.

Cylinders farm was about five miles from Ambleside where Schwitters lived, some 350 feet up the Langdale Valley and set against the towering forms of the Langdale Pikes, overlooking Lake Elterwater, but there was a suitable if infrequent bus service to this lonely spot, and Schwitters, often accompanied by Wantee, made daily trips and set to work


Harry Pierce at Walthwaite House Elterwater 1965. His small collection of Schwitters on the wall behind him.

> Fred Brookes: click here

> money: click here