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Charity exhibition of original work by Joy Adamson at Ellenborough Park


Charity exhibition of original work by Joy Adamson at Ellenborough Park

Various 'Born Free' author's paintings revealed after four decades forgotten in Cheltenham Vault.

Rare and some forgotten paintings by Joy Adamson, the conservationist, author, and inspiration for the Oscar-winning movie ‘Born Free’, will be on display from Friday 28th October for five days at Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham’s luxury hotel and spa.

Joy, a pioneer in the field of wildlife conservation, was famous for raising Elsa the orphaned lioness and successfully rehabilitating her into the wild.

Also a talented artist, in 1947 Joy won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Grenfell Gold Award, the highest accolade of its kind. 

To celebrate Joy’s extraordinary life and help raise money for her charity, the Elsa Conservation Trust, Ellenborough Park will host an exhibition of Joy’s watercolours, which includes East African wild animals, birds, flowers and plants.

The event recreates Joy’s 1974 exhibition at London’s Tyron Gallery, for which she handpicked the paintings. Many of the pictures have remained hidden for nearly four decades locked in a vault in Cheltenham.

After the Tryon Gallery, the paintings were given to the Trust’s Cheltenham-based secretary, Jean Aucutt, a close friend of Joy’s. As they waved farewell to each other Joy said to her: “Look after them”.

Attending the exhibition is John Rendall, the man famous for buying Christian the lion cub from Harrods in 1969. Christian was later released into the wild at Joy’s Kenyan home, Elsamere. A year later John visited Kenya and was famously remembered by  Christian, who greeted John by lovingly placing his paws on his shoulders.

This emotional reunion was shown on television and quickly became a global sensation. The video can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvCjyWp3rEk

Graham Vass, general manager at Ellenborough Park, said: “It is an honour to support the Elsa Conservation Trust. The exhibition is a must-see for Born Free fans and for a new generation to learn about the extraordinary Adamson legacy.”

Visitors to the exhibition also have the chance to experience Elsamere, where Joy, Elsa, Christian all used to live. A trip to Elsamere is the top prize in the exhibition’s fundraising draw and tickets are £5 each.

The exhibition is open between 10am and 6pm daily from 28th October until 1st November. The minimum entry donation is £3 per person, and prints of Joy’s paintings and the 50th anniversary edition of the book ‘Born Free’ will be available to purchase.  All proceeds go to the Elsa Conservation Trust.


Explore Gloucestershire
24 October


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