Dame Vera Lynn artworks go on display in East Sussex

Forces’ Sweet-art! How Dame Vera Lynn was a dab hand with the easel and oils as 20 of her paintings go on display

  • Dame Very Lynn was an accomplished artist as well as a world-famous singer 
  • Some 300 paintings have been catalogued since her death at the age of 103 
  • An exhibition of 20 of her paintings is going on display  Ditchling, East Sussex

As the Forces’ Sweetheart, her songs gave the nation hope in the darkest days of the Second World War.

But less well known is that Dame Vera Lynn was also an accomplished painter with a flair for colourful portraits. Her talent long remained a secret outside family and close friends.

Now 20 of her paintings have gone on display in the village of Ditchling, East Sussex, where the East End-born singer lived in her later years.

Dame Vera Lynn, pictured, was an accomplished painter having completed more than 300 works of art that have been catalogued since her death at the age of 103

Now 20 of her paintings have gone on display in the village of Ditchling, East Sussex, where the East End-born singer lived in her later years

Curators were amazed by her output after finding more than 300 paintings in her archive following her death at 103 in 2020

Yesterday Stephanie Fuller, director of Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, said the seven oil portraits pictured here are all of unnamed life models who sat in classes Dame Vera took at Arthur Segal’s London school of painting after the war

In later nears she took further classes local to Ditchling. Some seven oil portraits have gone on display near her former home

Curators were amazed by her output after finding more than 300 paintings in her archive following her death at 103 in 2020.

Yesterday Stephanie Fuller, director of Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, said the seven oil portraits pictured here are all of unnamed life models who sat in classes Dame Vera took at Arthur Segal’s London school of painting after the war. She later took classes local to Ditchling.

Her works are ‘good quality’ but their value is ‘in a sense priceless’ due to their connection to her, Miss Fuller added.

Dame Vera’s daughter Virginia Lewis-Jones, 75, said: ‘I think a lot of artistes are often very good artists as well, it’s another side to their creative field.’

The exhibition, Dame Vera Lynn: An Extraordinary Life, also features a secret order from King George VI for her to perform at Princess Elizabeth’s 16th birthday and her diary of a 1944 Burma trip. It runs until April 18.

The paintings feature life models who sat in classes for the wartime forces sweetheart

Dame Vera’s daughter Virginia Lewis-Jones, 75, said: ‘I think a lot of artistes are often very good artists as well, it’s another side to their creative field’

The exhibition, Dame Vera Lynn: An Extraordinary Life, also features a secret order from King George VI for her to perform at Princess Elizabeth’s 16th birthday and her diary of a 1944 Burma trip. It runs until April 18

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