Celebrated painting ‘gifted’ to Northampton Museum and Art Gallery

Roberta Booth's Earthworks 2, inspired when she saw a discarded plough in Hertfordshire, has been donated to Northampton's art gallery.

Roberta Booth's Earthworks 2, inspired when she saw a discarded plough in Hertfordshire, has been donated to Northampton's art gallery.

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A critically acclaimed Roberta Booth painting has been gifted to Northampton Museum and Art Gallery by her family.

“Earthworks 2” has been handed over by the Derby-born artist’s sister, Norma Dunville, and niece, Rachel Krate, who are from Northampton.

The family say the abstract landscape piece, inspired by a drive the Hertfordshire, is one of Roberta Booth’s most acclaimed pieces of work.

Ms Dunville said: “I think it fits in rather well and Roberta would have been thrilled to know that it is hanging in here.

“We are big supporters of the museum and gallery and what they do here is fantastic and the town needs something like this.

“As a family, we think Earthworks 2 will be a great asset.”

Roberta Booth was born in Derby in 1947 and died in 2014.

She retired as a senior lecturer in Fine Art at Cambridge School of Art, where for 30 years she had given up two days a week of her studio time to teach degree students.

Explaining the story behind Earthworks 2, Ms Dunville said: “One day we were driving from her house near Royston and she spotted an old plough in one of the fields and she became besotted by it.

“She went back and took lots of photographs of it and from that came the painting.”

“Although it looks like today it would have been done with an airbrush, it’s actually all painted.”

Councillor Brandon Eldred, cabinet member for Community Engagement said: “Earthworks 2” is a fine piece of artwork and we are delighted that Norma and Rachel have donated it to Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.

It looks very much in pride of place here and we hope its addition will draw in more visitors to the museum and gallery.”

In 2014, Northampton Borough Council lost its Arts Council England accreditation after the authority chose to sell the Sekhemka statue, a 4,500 BC artefact kept in its collection.