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Edward Middleditch RA (1923 - 1987)

RA Collection: People and Organisations

Starting his career painting in the ‘Kitchen Sink’ realist style, Edward Middleditch later created semi-abstract works based on landscape and natural motifs.

Born in Essex, Middleditch undertook active military service in the Second World War for which he was awarded the Military Cross. After the War, he attended the Royal College of Art (RCA) from 1949 to 1952, where he was taught by Ruskin Spear RA, Carel Weight RA and John Minton. Together with fellow art students Derrick Greaves, Jack Smith and John Bratby, in the 1950s Middleditch established the ‘Kitchen Sink’ school of realism, portraying everyday life in post-War Britain by painting domestic scenes and objects.

From 1954 Middleditch worked part-time as a teacher of painting at various art colleges including St Martin’s, Chelsea and Norwich where he was Head of Fine Art from 1964 to 1984. During the 1960s, he became more interested in the natural world and began painting semi-abstract landscape scenes, often incorporating repeating patterns of floral motifs. His works evoke the fleeting movement of light or reflections in water and he took much inspiration from Persian carpet designs.

Middleditch was elected as a member of the Royal Academy in 1973 and took up the position of Keeper of the Royal Academy (in charge of the RA Schools) in 1984. Unfortunately, two years later he was forced to leave this role due to ill health. Middleditch died in his hometown of Chelmsford in 1987.


Royal Academician


Born: 23 March 1923 in Chelmsford, Essex, England, United Kingdom

Died: 29 July 1987

Nationality: British

Elected ARA: 26 April 1968

Elected RA: 26 May 1973

Keeper from: 1985 - 1986

Gender: Male

Preferred media: Painting

Works by Edward Middleditch in the RA Collection

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Associated archives

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