'It was a tight squeeze'

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Tuesday 1 February 2011
Jane Davidson-Ladd

Following on from my blog If these walls could talk..., I came across this fantastic image from 1940 in the Auckland Star in one of the Gallery's newspaper clippings books.

http://rfacdn.nz/artgallery/assets/media/blog-tight-squeeze-1.jpg

It shows the coronation picture of George VI, being carried into the Gallery through what was then the main Gallery entrance - in the middle of the Kitchener St facade.

The painting obviously made it in, as it is pictured below on display - the person standing in front of it gives you a sense of just how large it is.

http://rfacdn.nz/artgallery/assets/media/blog-tight-squeeze-2.jpg

 

Painted by Frank O Sailsbury, RA, it records the 1937 coronation in Westminster Abbey. The accompanying caption notes that 'It was presented to the King as a token of loyalty and affection by the Dominions of Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.' A timely find given the renewed prominence of 'Bertie' or George VI, as he became, in The King's Speech.