Alan Wild and Ken White put the painting back in the Museum’s foundry exhibit.
Thanks to the Friends of Swindon Railway Museum, the STEAM Museum has now acquired a painting produced by internationally acclaimed artist and muralist, Ken White and keeps it on display in the UK. The oil on canvas painting entitled Lunchtime depicts a group of GWR rivet hotters who are gathered round a brazier, making their toast at lunchtime. The young person in the middle is a self portrait of the artist during his time in the works.Lunchtime is one of many paintings in Ken’s collection that reflects the time he spent at the famous Swindon Railway Works* as a rivet hotter and later as a signwriter.Ken White said of the painting which is one of a collection of over 30 GWR pieces: “I wanted to document my working in the GWR at Swindon Works; the atmosphere, noise, smells and the larger-than-life characters that I remember.”Cllr Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Regeneration and Culture said: “Lunchtime is a perfect complement to the permanent themed displays in the foundry area at STEAM and our thanks go to the Friends of Swindon Railway Museum who have purchased this important painting by Ken White and donated it to the STEAM Collection.”Alan Wild, Chairman of the Friends of Swindon Railway Museum, said: “We are very pleased to have been able to secure the painting for the enjoyment of future visitors to the museum.”Ken’s paintings are very popular in the USA and the purchase by the Friends has guaranteed its place on display in this countryENDSKen WhiteKen White grew up in Swindon and on leaving school at fifteen, followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather by becoming an apprentice at Swindon Works. After a spell as a rivet hotter, Ken became a signwriter – a move that eventually led to him becoming a professional and internationally acclaimed artist and muralist. Ken’s work is well known to any Swindonian because he is the artist behind the distinctive murals which have adorned the town since the late 1970s. But he is also an internationally acclaimed artist and is especially well-known for his work for Richard Branson, the most famous being the ‘Scarlet Lady’ that adorns the nose cone of every Virgin Atlantic jet.