Artist and author, Anthony Day, marks 100th birthday

Local artist and author, Anthony Day (pictured inset) marked his 100th birthday on February 22.

Local artist and author, Anthony Day (pictured inset) marked his 100th birthday on February 22. - Credit: Supplied

Anthony Day, a local artist who has exhibited over 80 one-man shows and many more group exhibitions, marked his 100th birthday on Tuesday (February 22). 

Anthony was joined at his home in Wicken by friends, family and a group of around 30 well-wishers from the village to celebrate his special day. 

His centenary celebrations included receiving a special 100th birthday card from the Queen and a surprise visit from Wicken Band at Pond Green outside his cottage. 

The son of a local farmer, Anthony was born in Wicken in 1922, where he still lives today. 

Anthony Day (L) was surprised by friends, family and Wicken Band outside his cottage for his 100th birthday.

Anthony Day (L) was surprised by friends, family and Wicken Band outside his cottage for his 100th birthday. He's pictured with the owner of The Old Fire Engine House in Ely, Ann Jarman (R). - Credit: Supplied

Family and friends joined Anthony (R) outside his home to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Family and friends joined Anthony (R) outside his home to celebrate his 100th birthday. - Credit: Supplied

After serving in the Royal Army medical corps, he studied art at Cambridge School of Art from 1948 to 1952 and at Reading University from 1954 to 1955. 

He turned to painting outdoors as a way of spending time in the countryside. 

Anthony's work is mostly in gouache, occasionally egg tempera or soft pencil, using a palette of subtle colours to capture the natural light of fen skies, fields and water.

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Over the years, Anthony has exhibited his work at the Royal Academy, the Heffer Gallery and Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, as well as the Paris Salon and the English Gallery in Boston, USA.

Anthony also has works in the Government Art Collection and still exhibits regularly at local galleries such as The Old Fire Engine House in Ely. 

Wicken Band arrived at Pond Green outside Anthony Day's cottage on February 22 to surprise him for his birthday.

Wicken Band arrived at Pond Green outside Anthony Day's cottage on February 22 to surprise him for his birthday. - Credit: Supplied

Family and friends joined Anthony (R) outside his home to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Family and friends joined Anthony (R) outside his home to celebrate his 100th birthday. He's pictured with the owner of The Old Fire Engine House in Ely, Ann Jarman (L). - Credit: Supplied

Images from Anthony Day's latest exhibition at The Old Fire Engine House in Ely.

Images from Anthony Day's latest exhibition at The Old Fire Engine House in Ely. - Credit: The Old Fire Engine House

A spokesperson there said: “Anthony has exhibited with us since 1968. 

“At 100 years old, he is still fiercely independent, a keen walker and has just had a very successful exhibition here alongside two other local artists. 

“He was the first artist to have an exhibition at the gallery and has exhibited with us here every winter.” 

Each July, Anthony enjoys welcoming visitors to his studio in Wicken as part of the Cambridge Open Studios season and is happy to show his work at other times, by appointment. 

Family and friends joined Anthony (R) outside his home to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Local artist, Anthony Day, received a special 100th birthday cake to mark his centenary celebrations. - Credit: Supplied

Family and friends joined Anthony (R) outside his home to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Family and friends joined Anthony (R) outside his home to celebrate his 100th birthday. - Credit: Supplied

Anthony also worked as an art reviewer for the Cambridge Evening News, is a prolific author of local history and has published 14 books about the Fens, in particular Wicken village and Soham. 

The spokesperson added: “On his 100th birthday, he told us that the village came out and that it was the first time they had all been out together since lockdown. 

“It was a real treat for everyone.”  

Anthony Day received a special 100th birthday card from the Queen.

Anthony Day received a special 100th birthday card from the Queen. - Credit: Supplied

One of Anthony Day's paintings.

One of Anthony Day's pieces of art. - Credit: Supplied

Artist Anthony Day (L) with the owner of The Old Fire Engine House in Ely, Ann Jarman (R). This phot

Artist Anthony Day (L) with the owner of The Old Fire Engine House in Ely, Ann Jarman (R). This photo was taken in 2017 at Anthony's 95th birthday. - Credit: The Old Fire Engine House

One of Anthony Day's pieces of art.

One of Anthony Day's pieces of art. - Credit: Archant

One of Anthony Day's pieces of art.

One of Anthony Day's pieces of art. - Credit: Archant

Author Anthony Day, of Wicken

Author Anthony Day, of Wicken with one of his books. - Credit: Archant

One of Anthony Day's pieces of art.

One of Anthony Day's pieces of art. - Credit: Archant

Images from Anthony Day's latest exhibition at The Old Fire Engine House in Ely.

Images from Anthony Day's latest exhibition at The Old Fire Engine House in Ely. - Credit: The Old Fire Engine House