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John Tunnard

Born 1900, Sandy, Bedfordshire.  Died 1971.

John Tunnard attended the Royal College of Art in London from 1919-23 where he studied textile design.  After graduation he combined a career as a jazz musician with textile design for Tootal Broadhurst Lee until 1929.  At that point, he became a part-time tutor at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and began painting.  In 1930 he moved to Cornwall and started a hand-blocked printed silk business.  He exhibited in the Surrealist section in the AIA exhibition of 1937.

After serving as a coastguard during World War II, Tunnard taught art at Wellington College for three years before returning to Cornwall to teach at Penzance School of Art.  He continued to paint in a realistic way with elements of surrealism.  The source of his inspiration was the Cornish landscape, music and mathematics.  The Royal Academy mounted a retrospective exhibition in 1977.