Jack Pickup Exhibition

Paintings of Plymouth and the Surrounding Area

Victoria Park was near to Jack Pickup’s home and he walked through it on his way to and from work and his children played there. He produced paintings of this park from many different viewpoints. Two of these paintings have been included here. 

Another favourite location was Citadel Road, which is behind the Hoe and was quite near to his studio in Southside Street. There are two paintings of this location in this section of the Virtual Exhibition, and another, which belongs to The Box, can be seen here.

This artist also painted scenes near the River Tamar and on Dartmoor, and nearer to Plymouth, a quarry and Stonehouse Bridge. We have not been able to identify the exact location of the views in some of Jack Pickup’s paintings but they are all local.

One theme that unites the paintings in this section is tranquility. It seems as if the artist is enjoying a sense of peace after the fear and panic of WW2. Also the calm settings are a contrast to the activity in the city centre where rebuilding and redevelopment continued throughout the 1950s. 

More oil paintings owned by The Box (Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives).

Available for Purchase here:

Booklet: Jack Pickup’s Mural for Plymouth Unitarian Church
Prints of Jack Pickup’s paintings.

13 thoughts on “Jack Pickup Exhibition

  1. I love these paintings. It’s wonderful to see familiar places in the light and colours of the fifties.

  2. Wonderful mural and paintings. Powerful and yet sensitive, full of feeling yet restrained. His visionary spirit and compassion are completely present in the work. I love it. He is a great artist and I hope to see the originals when I next visit Plymouth.
    Thanks for this enlightening exhibition.

    1. Hello Beverley. So glad you enjoyed the exhibition. Do let us know when you’re next in Plymouth so we can show your the mural. Of course, the building is closed at the moment, but as soon as we’re open again we’d love to see you.

  3. Such beautiful paintings. Lovely to read about the history of the artist and Plymouth.

  4. Wonderful paintings. I am proud to be a cousin of Jack living in NZ at the moment ‘and last saw him in 1950. He did some great paintings of Plymouth and its environs. The colours so fresh and the paintings so crisp. It was wonderful seeing so many of them on the internet. It is also interesting seeing the pictures of Plymouth foreshore at that period after the war.

    Thankyou to his family for making it so easy for me to look at them.

    Maureen “née Pickup” McMillan

    1. Thank you for your comment Maureen. Jack Pickup certainly created an impressive and unique collection of paintings. (I helped Jack Pickup’s family organise this virtual exhibition of his work.) Tessa Hall

  5. This a wonderful exhibition of Jack Pickup’s work. His mural of Christ Calming the Storm, hangs in our Unitarian Church in Notte Street; I recognise the detail, the arms pulling on the oars, at the top of this virtual exhibition. Tessa Hall gave an interesting talk about that and some of his other paintings in History week a few years back. This ‘virtual’ exhibition shows many more of his works. They are very atmospheric, giving a real sense of being in Plymouth a generation ago. Having moved to Plymouth in the early 1970’s, I can recognise some places, while others have changed so much! Through these paintings seeing places and people as they were, going about their daily business, which must have been so much harder in those post war years, when people were rebuilding their lives. I have ‘shared’ this with my brother and my sister-in-law, also an artist, living in Southampton, another coastal city which was much damaged by bombing and has been rebuilt.

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