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University of Cambridge

Open: Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–5pm

We are closed on Bank Holiday Mondays

Please note the house will be temporarily closed for 4 weeks from 14 March 2024

Book Tickets

Open: Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–5pm

We are closed on Bank Holiday Mondays

Please note the house will be temporarily closed for 4 weeks from 14 March 2024

Exhibition

Roger Hilton: Late works and the Night Letters

21 November 2009 – 10 January 2010

This exhibition was a sequel to ‘Roger Hilton: swinging out into the void’, an exhibition celebrating Hilton’s major contribution to painting in the 1950s and ’60s.

This sequel looked at the final chapter of his life. Wracked by long-term drinking and smoking, Hilton was largely confined to bed. At Christmas 1972, he started to play with the poster paints given to one of his sons and began a prolific output of works on paper in charcoal and gouache, which only ended with his death in February 1975.

This event has passed. FREE-come along

Imagery had never been far away, even in his most abstract works and, years before, he had announced his wish to ‘reinvent figuration’. Now animals and birds, nudes and boats were conjured up with apparent abandon but with extraordinary control. At times frustrated, at times joyous, frequently hilarious, these paintings are a poignant testament to his determination to make art in the face of death.

At night Hilton wrote letters to his sleeping wife. Frequently illustrated, by turns affectionate and rude, they set out his needs for food, drink and paints and reflect on his condition, and on art and life.

The exhibition marked the publication of a new edition of the ‘Night Letters’, edited by Timothy Bond and published by the Archive of Modern Conflict.