Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe (1901-1979) was Britain’s foremost 20th century wildlife artist, renowned for his decorative watercolours of birds. He is less well-known as a printmaker, but it is often in these pictures that the influence of his early life in Cheshire is revealed.
Born in Langley, Macclesfield, he lived and worked on the family farm at Sutton Lane Ends until he was 19 years old. He studied at the Macclesfield School of Art (the building which now houses The Silk Museum) before receiving a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London.
The exhibition explores both his well-observed images of rural Macclesfield in the early 20th century and his later commercial successes. He readily found work illustrating books and in advertising, most famously for Henry Williamson’s 1932 edition of Tarka the Otter.
This exhibition highlights a number of unseen and early works, including watercolours of Macclesfield and a self-portrait print. His wife Winifred, whom he met whilst studying at the Royal College of Art, was also an artist and amongst the exhibits there is an example of one of her carved bookcases and a ceramic polar bear.