Fred Cuming RA

Fred Cuming 1972 Fred and Audrey
Fred Cuming, 1998  


Fred has devoted his life to expressing the fleeting impressions of his surroundings, often painting the South Coast of England around Hastings and Rye where he lives. He also continues to paint regularly in Italy.


Fred Cuming was born in 1930 in London and trained at the Sidcup School of Art between 1945 and 1949. After National Service he studied at the Royal College of Art for four years and was awarded the Abbey Travel Scholarship to visit Rome. In 1969 he was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Academy, becoming a full member in 1974. At that time, he was the yougest member ever elected. Fred has also been a member of the New English Art Club since 1960.

Fred has exhibited widely since his first one-man show at Thackeray Gallery, London, and has work in private and public collections internationally. In 2001 he was given the honour of being the 'Featured Artist' in the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, with an entire gallery of his own. In 2004, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the Arts at the University of Kent in Canterbury.

View Fred Cuming's listing on the Royal Academy website

Stephen Hawking at the National Portrait Gallery

Stephen Hawking, National Gallery Portrait

Fred Cuming was commissioned in 1996 to paint a portrait of Stephen Hawking. This portrait is now part of the National Portrait Gallery collection and was most recently exhibited in 2006.


Fred has taught extensively, starting at the Harrow School of Art in 1956. In the following years, he also taught part-time at Maidstone (and Rochester) School of Art (1957); Wathlemstow Art College (1958 - 60); Hornsey Art School (1960 - 65); Leicester School of Art 1(1976); Farnham School of Art (1978 - 83).

From 1977 through to 1985, Fred worked full-time at the Metropole Gallery, Folkestone. Here, he assisted "the Great John Eveleigh", the brains and energy behind a terrific program of exhibitions at the gallery, unequalled in the South East. Exhibiting artists at the Metropole at that time included Henry Moore, Stanley Spencer, Sir Sidney Nolan, Sir Peter Blake and Eduardo Paolozzi.


In writing about his work, Fred Cuming has said, "I am not interested in pure representation, my work is about responses to the moods and atmospheres generated by landscape, still life or interior. I am interested in the developments of 20th Century painting, in abstraction, that has been present in all movements, and in new ideas and art forms. My philosophy is that the more I work the more I discover. Drawing is essential as a tool of discovery; skill and mastery of technique are also essential, but only as a vocabulary and a means towards an idea. I struggle to keep an open mind."

With an everyday scene, through his subtle approach and through focusing on light and tone, he lends it an elevated atmosphere. His subjects are often oriented around the mood of the sea, skies, harbours, marshland, ships and figures wandering on beaches; Fred is constantly absorbing everything that is around him. Equally, interiors and still lifes are often sources of inspiration.

Fred lives with Audrey, his wife of nearly fifty years, near Rye in East Sussex. They have two children and five grandchildren.

Fred Cuming, Resumé




Adam Gallery, London


Brian Sinfield Gallery, Oxfordshire

Bradford and Scunthorpe Museum


Thompson Gallery

Brighton and Hove Museum


Adam Gallery, London

Canterbury Museum


Brian Sinfield Gallery, Oxfordshire

Carlisle Museum and Art Gallery


Thompson’s Gallery, London

Chantrey Bequest


Adam Gallery, London and Bath

Cheltenham & Gloucester


Adam Gallery, London and Bath

Department of the Environment


Thompson Gallery, London

Eastbourne Towner Gallery


Alresford Gallery, Alresford

Farendon Trust


City Gallery, London

Folkestone New Metropole Arts Centre


Adam Gallery, Bath

Guinness Collection


Neville Gallery, Canterbury

Kendall Museum


Alresford Gallery, Alresford, Hampshire

Kendall Museum


New Grafton Gallery, London

Kent University, Derek Jarman Room


Barneys Gallery, Greenwich, Ct, USA

Lloyd's of London


City Gallery, London

London Tourist Board


Neville Gallery, Canterbury

London Weekend Television


Alresford Gallery, Alresford, Hampshire

Maidstone Museum


Adam Gallery, Bath

Ministry of Works


The Vogel Gallery, Dallas, Texas, USA

Monte Carlo Museum


New Grafton Gallery, London

National Museum of Wales, Cardiff


Jonleigh Gallery, Guildford

National Portrait Gallery


Jorgenson Gallery, Dublin

National Trust Foundation for Art


City Gallery, London

New Metropole Arts Centre, Folkestone


Alresford Gallery, Alresford, Hampshire

Preston Museum


New Grafton Gallery, London

Royal Academy, London


Mason Watts, Warwick

Salford Museum and Art Gallery


City Gallery, London

Scunthorpe Museum


Jonleigh Gallery, Guildford



New Grafton Gallery, London

Southend Museum


Sinfield Gallery, Burford

St John's College, Oxford


Mason Watts, Warwick

Stormont Gallery, Rye


New Grafton Gallery, London

Towner Gallery, Eastbourne


Sinfield Gallery, Burford

W H Smith Ltd


Drew Gallery, Canterbury

Worcester College, Oxford


New Grafton Gallery, London



Easton Rooms, Rye



Sinfield Gallery, Burford







Winner of Grand Prix Fine Art, Monaco



Sir Brinsley Ford Award



New English Club



Grand Prix de l'Art Contemporaries







Royal Academy Summer Show, since 1953

Little Studio, New York


Young Contemporaries, New English Art Club

Royal Academy, Edinburgh


Royal Society of Portrait Painters

Jonleigh Gallery, Guildford


John Moores, Liverpool

Pattersons Fine Art, London


Leicester Gallery

Mason Watts Fine Art, Warwick


Piccadilly Gallery

New Grafton Gallery, London


Adam Gallery, Bath

Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin


Walker Galleries

Century Gallery, Datchet, Windsor


Brian Sinfield Gallery, Burford

Edinburgh Gallery


New Grafton Gallery, Barnes, London

Royal West of England Academy, Bristol


New Metropole Arts Centre, Folkestone

Duncan Campbell Gallery, London