Last Friday (21 August) saw a fascinating talk on Tenby born artist Nina Hamnett, given by David Dando at the museum. David traced her wild and wicked story, from her early days in Tenby from where she escaped as soon as she possibly could to a life rollicking with the likes of Dylan Thomas, Walter Sickert, Modigliani and Virginia Woolf, whilst at the same time establishing herself as an exciting name in the art world. Nina became a leading and ebullient personality in the Parisian art scene of the 1920s where she danced naked on the tables at parties but was also a leading figure in Roger Fry’s Omega workshop and in the same roaring decade she became the best known female figure painter in the City of Light. In the 1930s and 1940s, back in Britain, she held court in the taverns of Fitzrovia and Soho and the other naughty Tenby artist, Augustus John, was alleged to have remarked to her, “We are the people our father’s warned us against.” Nina died in tragic circumstances at the tender age of 66, falling out of her window in London and landing on the railings below.
The museum currently has a showcase of work by Nina, including a dress she wore to a fancy dress party in Tenby in 1899 when she was 9 years old. Later in the year there will be a showing of the docu-drama of Nina’s life, What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor? by Wet Paint Films which is taking place at the museum at 2.30pm on Thursday 24 September. If you are interested in attending this event (priced at £5), booking will be essential so please contact the museum for details.