Tring museum celebrates local wildlife artist

The Natural History Museum, Tring
The Natural History Museum, Tring

The work of one of Britain’s most talented wildlife and countryside artists is being celebrated at Tring’s Natural History Museum, to mark the 20th anniversary of his death.

Gordon Beningfield first came to rural Hertfordshire when his family was evacuated from East London during the Second World War.

Gordon’s skill with paint and pencil was recognised by his teachers, and his father encouraged him into an artistic apprenticeship at ecclesiastical art restoration company Faithcraft in St Albans, where he excelled at carving, gilding, painting and sketching.

In 1958, Gordon married and settled first in Redbourn and later in Water End,

The countryside and its wild inhabitants were often the subject of Gordon’s paintings and drawings. Later in his career he contributed to a number of TV programmes and was commissioned by the Royal Mail to create a set of stamps showing endangered butterflies.

His first book, Beningfield’s Butterflies, published in 1978 and an accompanying exhibition of the original paintings sold out under huge demand.

He was a strong advocate of nature conservation and supporter of the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, becoming its vice-president in 1993.

As part of the Beningfield 2018 celebrations, the Natural History Museum at Tring is hosting a weekend of special events from July 6 to 8.

These include an exhibition of Beningfield’s work, an evening of talks about butterflies and wildlife art and Wildlife Super Saturday on July 7 – a free, fun day out for adults and families in and around the museum’s grounds, including, walks, stalls, crafts and games.

See hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/gordonbeningfield