Dorset woman's appeal to preserve her lat partner's artwork
A PURSE Caundle woman is appealing for help in finding a place to store more than 1,000 pieces of artwork created by her late partner.
Jeanora Bartlet, 82, is due to move in March and is hoping someone might be able to help her to catalogue and preserve the work.
The art, ranging from collages to sketches and acrylics, was left to her by partner Richard Hay Reagan, who died in June last year aged 83.
Ms Bartlet said the looming move prompted her to focus on how to properly protect the artwork.
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She said: "The collection is very valuable to me and extremely special.
"He was such a unique person.
"I think that this will be a way I can honour all his hard work.
"I'm not even quite sure how many items there are.
"I've tried to count them and begin sorting them but I would guess there are more than 1,000."
Ms Bartlet hopes someone with knowledge of archiving and curating might be able to suggest a suitable location.
She said: "I don't like to think of them being out of my sight and I would like to keep them close to me.
"They need somebody to love and care for them and I am doing that to some extent.
"But it's a huge task and it's something I don't feel I can completely do on my own."
American-born Mr Reagan met Ms Bartlet in the 1960s.
Ms Bartlet said: "He had been an artist all his life.
"Even when I was introduced to him in New Mexico I remember coming across him drawing this huge piece of work out on the floor.
"It was one of those magical moments in life and we fell in love that day.
"It was almost like it was planned for us to meet.
"From then on we were together."
The couple toured the world, travelling between art shows and exhibitions, before settling down in Purse Caundle back in 1992.
Ms Bartlet said: "Richard had always been artistic and, apart from during his time serving in Japan and Korea, he created artwork every day.
"He wasn't much of a commercialist, it was more his passion.
"Of course he would have been happy to sell some but we were rarely approached.
"I think they are the greatest pieces of artwork.
"He worked with all sorts of materials, whatever he could lay his hands on.
"And any money he did get he would spend on new materials and try out different styles.
"One day I might even like to display the work for others to see," Ms Bartlet added.