Special Exhibition: Eric Walrond, a Harlem Renaissance writer in 1940s Bradford on Avon

Eric Walrond exhibition poster

Eric Walrond exhibition poster

Saturday 16th March – Sunday 7th April, 10am – 4pm daily
at the West Barn, Barton Farm
Admission free

Bradford on Avon Museum, in conjunction with the Bradford on Avon Preservation Trust, is pleased to announce our special exhibition for 2024: Eric Walrond, a Harlem Renaissance writer in 1940s Bradford on Avon.

Regarded as a major literary figure of the Harlem Renaissance, with the publication of his book of short stories, Tropic Death, a successful career seemed in prospect and more so after the Guggenheim Foundation awarded him a grant which enabled him to travel in the Caribbean. He had a new project in mind  – a history of the Panama Canal which he wanted to call The Big Ditch. But it was not to be. His publisher cancelled the contract for the Panama book and soon after that  Walrond cut his ties with New York and set off for Europe, settling for a time in Paris before moving to London in the 1930s. His settled existence didn’t last long however –  when second world war bombs began falling on London Walrond along with many others evacuated West out of London.  He found himself in a small town in Wiltshire, (population 4000) by the name of  Bradford on Avon.  It was to be his home for twelve years.

The exhibition charts Eric Walrond’s life from his birth in 1898 in (then) British Guyana to his death in London in 1966.

The image of the portrait of Eric Walrond, by acclaimed local, Jamaican-born artist Clifton Powell, appears courtesy of Wiltshire Museum.

Museum logoBradford on Avon Preservation Trust logo



We are grateful for the support of Wiltshire Museum and the National Lottery Heritage Fund which has made this exhibition possible.

Wiltshire Museum logoNational Lottery Heritage Fund logo

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