5 The end of an era -
Another memorable retrospective was that for Cor Visser in 1983. Cor Visser was born in Spaarndam in Holland and entered the Harlem Academy of Art at the age of fourteen. From the age of twenty five he lived aboard a seagoing yacht on the Zuider Zee, exhibiting in most of the Duch towns. In 1937 he sailed to the East Coast of England. At the outbreak of war in 1939, he was on the Orwell and unable to return to Holland. He moored at Ipswich, and with the exception of a few wartime years spent in London as Official War Artist to the Dutch Government in exile, was to spend the rest of his life here. Holland's loss was Ipswich's gain. As well as continuing actively as an artist, Cor taught a group from his barge at the old 'Dock End' and later from his house in Fore Street. Among them were Ken Cuthbert, Anthea Durose and Verity Wookey, all of whom have had distinguished careers in art. Cor Visser had a hugh reputation in Holland, though he is less well known here. Some of his work can be seen in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Cor died in 1982. The Club had approached him some time earlier about mounting a retrospective along the lines of the Squirell exhibition but had received the reply "I don't really have much to show". After his death around 250 pictures were found in his house (and many were not particularly small) from which a commemorative show was selected.
In 1981 a big retrospective for Colin Moss was shown at the reorganised Wolsey Gallery in Christchurch Mansion. Colin was born in Ipswich in 1914 returning to the town after World War II in 1947 to take up a teaching post at the School of Art. His powerful draughtsmanship, Fauvist palette and feeling for expressionism (fuelled by studying with Oscar Kokoshka in Salzburg) had a considerable influence on his students. He retired from teaching in 1979 but is still an active and prolific artist. From early days when Anna Airy and he had many a dispute until his recent Presidency he has been a loyal and influential member of the Society.
Anna Airy's work was celebrated in an acclaimed and significant show in
1985 at Christchurch Mansion. Both the Airy family and Ipswich Borough Council made major contributions to the exhibition which also included, in sketch or final form, four of her works commissioned for the Imperial War Museum.