Bernard Myers – Seascape

In stock

Bernard Myers, British (1925 – 2001)
Oil on canvas
14 x 18 inches

Private collection, United Kingdom

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When James Dyson arrived on a design course at the Royal College of Art in 1966, at the age of 19, his first-year tutor was Bernard Myers. Dyson remembers him as “a cheerful, irrepressible, rather dapper teacher with a tweed suit and bow-tie, looking like someone from a 1950s television panel, such as The Brains Trust”.

But even more than this, he remembers a piece of advice Myers gave him during his first face-to-face tutorial. Dyson had designed a “flashy piece of architecture” and his tutor responded: “When you design something, everything about it has to have a purpose – there has to be a reason.” The advice, which deeply impressed the young Dyson, has never been forgotten. Dyson – now Sir James – recently wrote to Myers, from the Dyson factory in Malmesbury, thanking him for it.

Bernard Myers was a very special teacher in an art-school setting: genial, warm, imaginative, down-to-earth, jargon-free, very efficient and always able to infect others with a wide range of his own enthusiasms. He was celebrated for putting over complex material about design in ways that art and design students – who were usually itching to leave the lecture theatre and get back to their studios – could identify with.

At various stages in his long career as a Tutor, Senior Tutor and Professor at the RCA, between 1961 and 1980, Myers taught in most of the schools of the college, especially in Industrial Design Engineering – which he taught simultaneously to civil engineers at Imperial College, next door – Interior Design, Film and Television Design (which he helped to set up) and General Studies. A visiting scholar from Oxford, sitting in on one of Myers’s seminars, and after listening to the students’ strange questions, observed: “We spend our time in Oxford trying to be eccentric, but today I feel I’ve been in the presence of the real thing.”


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