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Cathedral tapestry studies by Graham Sutherland

Visual Arts

Cathedral tapestry studies by Graham Sutherland

This collection shows how Sutherland developed his designs for the Coventry Cathedral tapestry.

In November 1951, Basil Spence, the architect of the new Coventry Cathedral, asked Graham Sutherland to design a tapestry to hang behind the altar. Over the course of ten years, Sutherland made studies of each part of the tapestry until he and the Cathedral Reconstruction Committee were happy with the design. 

The Herbert holds a major collection of over 150 of these studies, presented to the museum by Lord Iliffe in 1964. It includes Sutherland's first two designs for the whole tapestry. His third and final design is on display in the Cathedral treasury.

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