Serving Across Borders: International Tennis Art

Tennis under the Orange Trees, Cannes John Lavery Oil on canvas, 1929 Private Collection
Tennis under the Orange Trees, Cannes. John Lavery. Oil on canvas, 1929. Private Collection.

Anyone for tennis! LAF members and potential newbies such as myself visited a different venue to the usual museums and galleries – the Ilkley Lawn Tennis Club, which dates back to 1880 and is the home of the Lexus Tennis Trophy – a world class tennis tournament held on grass courts. We headed for the marquee after play had finished for the day for Pimms and strawberries and cream.  A display of tennis artefacts, Punch prints and wooden racquets was available to view along with a selection of racquet games and figures from Ilkley Toy Museum and the speaker’s own impressive publications.

LAF vice chair Prof. Ann Sumner then gave us a fascinating lecture on International Tennis Art. A keen tennis player herself, Ann is the go-to expert for tennis art history. We viewed many different responses to the game from the paintings of John Lavery in the 1880s to Eric Ravilious in the 1930s, prints by Harold Edgerton and more recent responses from artists such as Hockney and Rodinone – his installation at the 2022 Venice Biennale incorporating figures based on Roger Federer’s body. An informative and enjoyable evening – only the weather let us down!

Event report by Laura Williams

Ann Sumner, LAF vice-chair, presenting her lecture International Tennis Art. Photo credit: Alice Sumner Melton

More about Ilkley Toy Museum

The museum is open Saturdays and Sundays, 12 – 4.

Check the website for entrance details and further information

Upcoming events from Leeds Art Fund

Tuscan Summer, Maurice de Sausmarez 1955 © Courtesy of Jane de Sausmarez. Purchased with funding from the Arts Council England/Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, the Art Fund and the Friends of University Art and Music (Leeds), 2018. Image credit: University of Leeds


Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery Woodhouse LS2 9JT

A Visit to Ilkley Toy Museum


Save the date - more information coming soon

New acquisitions and research at Lotherton Hall


Save the date - more information coming soon

Become a Friend to Art in Leeds

Show your support for arts in Leeds, enjoy exclusive membership benefits and help to acquire great art for the city. Join for as little as £20 per year.