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Gilbert [Spencer], Tree Cottage, Upper Basildon, Berks., to Middleton Todd

RA Collection: Archive

Reference code



Gilbert [Spencer], Tree Cottage, Upper Basildon, Berks., to Middleton Todd


15 Sep 1966



Extent & medium

2 pieces, with envelope

Historical Background

Gibert Spencer sent a letter of resignation to the RA in 1966 over a dispute with the committee of the Edwin Austin Abbey Memorial Trust Fund for Mural Painting relating to what he saw as an inadequate fee for work done by him at London University. The matter is recorded in the minutes of the RA Council, 31 May - 6 December 1966. Spencer subsequently withdrew his resignation.

Content Description

Spencer urges Middleton Todd to take care of himself: "I think you and I belong to the lost legion & I am happy & proud to be so." He then writes: "I have no personal interest in what I am doing, I am legally disbarred by the Statute of Limitations if nothing else from that. But I am not disbarred from taking what steps I feel should be taken to prevent any recurrences of what happened to me. My solicitor has now sent my detailed account of what happened to the Council at their request & I hope they will read it carefully. I went to a lot of trouble." He continues: "I have got quite a good head for knowing how these things should go & would have been pleased to help them tidy it up. But the official hostility to me on many occasions has been discouraging. But the Council can still if they wish find a solution but it would have to our solution & not just theirs. When they have received my memorandum I may decide to send copies to the members as my differences have never been with the members." Spencer concludes by saying that he had done a bit better at the RA [exhibition] that year, selling the landscape that he was very pleased to know Middleton Todd liked. He hopes that Middleton Todd will soon be out of hospital, and will get in touch when he is back in London.