About Gwen Raverat
Gwen Darwin was born in Cambridge in 1885; the granddaughter of the naturalist Charles Darwin and the first cousin of the poet Frances Cornford. She married the French painter, Jacques Raverat, in 1911 and they were active in the Bloomsbury Group and Rupert Brooke's Neo-Pagan group until they moved to the south of France. Her last years were spent in the Old Granary - which in 1954 became New Hall.
Raverat was one of the very first wood engravers recognised as modern. She went to the Slade School in 1908 and was influenced by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, developing her own painterly style of engraving.
Apart from her studies at the Slade and the period from 1915 to 1928, which covered her life with Jacques and early widowhood, Raverat lived in or near Cambridge. In 1928 she moved into the Old Rectory, Harlton, near Cambridge. The house was the model for her engravings for The Runaway.
Her life revolved around her contacts in Cambridge. One aspect was her work for the theatre, designing costumes, scenery and programmes. Her first experience was in 1908, when she designed costumes for Milton's Comus at the New Theatre, Cambridge. Her brother-in-law Geoffrey Keynes asked her to provide scenery and costumes for a proposed ballet drawn from William Blake's Illustrations of the Book of Job to commemorate the centennial of Blake's death; her second cousin, Ralph Vaughan Williams, wrote the music to the work which became known as Job, a masque for dancing, the premiere of which took place in Cambridge in 1931. The miniature stage set that she built as a model still exists, housed at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. She went on to design costumes, scenery and programmes for some ten productions, mostly for the Cambridge University Musical Society.
When she was 62, Raverat started to write her classic childhood memoir Period Piece, which she illustrated with line drawings. It appeared in 1952 and has not been out of print since.
There was an exhibition of works by Gwen Raverat at New Hall in conjunction with the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1998, as part of the celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of Women’s Degrees in Cambridge.
May (Fishing), Granchester 
Donated by Felicity Phelps, 2003
A Back View 
Woodcut print, 5.5 x 5.9 cm
Donated by Joan Wheeler-Bennett, 2007
Mill Lane [c.1950]
Woodcut, 16 x 18 cm
Donated to the New Hall Union Art Committee by Jessica Deed, 1961
This print shows the view across the river Cam from the Old Granary in Silver Street, which was leased by New Hall in its early years before it moved to its present site on Huntingdon Road.
Sheep's Green 
Oil on board
Donated by Alisoun Gardner-Medwin, 2004