Reginald Turvey - Life And Art
by Lowell Johnson
Accounts of one of South Africa's leading artists.
'Spiritual father of the Bahá'ís of South Africa.' That was the way Shoghi Effendi immortalized Reginald Turvey.
'I would place Reg Turvey as good as anyone who had painted landscapes since Constable'. That was the judgement of Bernard Leach, world-famous potter, Bahá'í and lifelong friend of Turvey.
Two descriptions introducing two puzzles - the South African 'spiritual father' was a white man; and his work was almost unknown in his lifetime.
In this lovingly compiled book, Lowell Johnson sets Turvey in front of the reader, and in so doing exposes his real success and achievement in life and art. The book includes several different accounts of him as man, artist and Bahá'í, with extracts from his diary and his correspondence with Bernard Leach. There are also 48 illustrations of his art, including 16 in colour.
At the time of his death in 1968 his artistic achievement was largely unrecognized. But he is now widely regarded in South Africa as one of their leading twentieth century artists, with his works represented in ten major museums, as well as in private collections in many other countries.
But Reginald Turvey's attainment was even more. He found in the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh an appreciation of man and nature in their universality, as expressions of the divine, which enriched his art and his own personality.
Introduced to the Faith by his fellow artist Mark Tobey, he became for the Bahá'ís of South Africa their 'spiritual father' and for many others an example of modesty, patience, consideration and humour - one 'who only gave joy and never hurt a soul.'
Lowell Johnson, friend of Reginald Turvey during the last decade of his life, has done more than any other to preserve his work and make it known to a wider public. American by birth and education, he has lived in South Africa since 1953, pursuing a successful career in broadcasting until his retirement in 1985.
176 pages, 56 illustrations
22 x 23 cm (8.50 x 9 in)