Not much is recorded of Whitten’s life other than he was an artist, educator and latterly a potter of some renown. This interior is pure Bloomsbury, a very Grant-like brush and the sort of domestic scene that could well have appealed to the great man. Indeed Whitten was a devotee of Duncan Grant and a purchaser of at least one of his works, a rather nice view of pleasure boats on the Thames, from the Towner Art Gallery in the 1950s. The Grant painting was sold by Whitten’s family at Auction in 2014, rather implying that he had died some time before. Intriguingly the lot was accompanied by an open letter from Grant in praise of Whitten so perhaps they were friends. Either way a charming interior, and who knows, the aging Grant might have hovered next to the young artist offering advice, or even adding the odd dab of colour.
Not much is recorded of Whitten’s life other than he was an artist, educator and latterly a potter of some renown. He was born in Leyton, Essex and studied at Hornsey School of Art from 1937 to 1940, under Norman Janes and John Charles Moody. He went on to Accrington School of Art from 1941 to 1942 then to the Royal College of Art from 1946 to 1949 under Carel Weight, Edward Bawden and Ruskin Spear. He taught at Eastbourne School of Art, in Sussex, where he lived and was a member of the Society of Artists. He seems to have been a friend of Duncan Grant as the latter wrote an open letter praising Whitten as a man and a teacher. He exhibited in London but principally in Eastbourne, where he had a show at the Towner Art Gallery. In later years he experimented with Pottery and Ceramic sculpture.