New painting of George Peabody
We've acquired a painting of George Peabody – what better way to celebrate his 224th birthday!
Aaron J Little, pictured right below, was homeless in London for five years before he found a place to live and established himself again. He got involved with setting up an art group in a Peabody Community Centre and later started going to the 240Project, an Art and Wellbeing centre for vulnerable adults who have experienced homelessness, isolation and social exclusion.
Aaron is a great admirer of our founder George Peabody and has painted a number of paintings of him and Peabody buildings. Aaron said: "I have always admired George Peabody's philanthropic contribution to public housing of which I have been a beneficiary.
"As George Peabody's earlier life was mired by poverty it is wonderful that he never forgot the difficulties that his family endured and made provisions in his will for people to benefit from to this very day."
Aaron (right) with David Lavarack, Peabody's Executive Director Corporate Service
We became aware of Aaron's painting when Sarah Feleppa, Peabody's Volunteering Manager, was approached by a representative of the 240Project to see if we'd be interested in buying it. Of course, we snapped it up and Aaron came in to personally present it to us and tell us a bit more about his inspiration.
About the painting
The background of the painting is the Grosvenor estate buildings. There aren’t actually any colour photos of George Peabody, but Aaron was inspired by the cover of a copy of David Copperfield, and chose "pea green" for the colour of his coat.
Aaron's painting is going to be hung up in the reception area at our Walworth Road office – take a look next time you're there. This is the second painting that Aaron has sold. For his next project he’ll be entering his work into a competition at the Hampstead School of Art.
Happy birthday George Peabody! He was born on 18 February 1795 so would have been 224 on Monday.