Joseph Henderson R.S.A., R.S.W. (1832-1908)

Figure 1. The Sweep’s Land, Stockwell Street by Thomas Fairbairn © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

‘The gifts include a water colour, “The Sweep`s Land, Stockwell Street” by James (sic) Fairbairn, presented by Mr Joseph Henderson, R.S.W., Glasgow, and this sub-committee resolved that a special vote of thanks be accorded him for the gift’. 1

Joseph Henderson was born on 10 June 1832 in Stanley, Perthshire, He was the third of four boys. When he was about six, the family moved to Edinburgh and took up residence in Broad Street. The two older boys joined their father, also Joseph, as stone masons. 2 Joseph’s father died when Joseph was eleven leaving his mother, Marjory Slater, in straightened circumstances. 3 As a result, Joseph and his twin brother, James, were sent to work at an early age and the thirteen-year-old Joseph was apprenticed to a draper/hosier. At the same time, he attended part-time classes at the Trustees’ Academy, Edinburgh. At the age of seventeen, on 2 February 1849, he enrolled as an art student in the Academy.4 From the census of 1851, Marjory, Joseph and James were living at 5 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh. Marjory was now a ‘lodging housekeeper’ with two medical students as boarders. James was a ‘jeweller’ while Joseph was a ‘lithographic drawer’.5 In the same year Joseph won a prize for drawing at the Academy enabling him, along with fellow students, W. Q. Orchardson, W. Aikman and W. G. Herdman, to travel to study the works of art at the Great Exhibition in London, which he found to be a very formative experience.6

He left the Academy about 1852-3 and settled in Glasgow. He is first mentioned in the Glasgow Post Office Directory for 1857-8 where he is listed as an artist living at 6 Cathedral Street.7 The census of 1861 confirms this address where he is a ‘portrait painter’ living with his wife Helen, daughter Marjory aged four and his mother Marjory who is now his ‘house keeper’.8

Joseph Henderson’s first exhibited work was a self-portrait which was shown at the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) in 1853.9 He painted several portraits of friends and local dignitaries including a half-length portrait of his friend John Mossman in 1861. His painting, The Ballad Singer established his reputation as one of Scotland`s foremost artists when exhibited at the RSA in 1866.10 Throughout his career he continued in portraiture. He executed portraits of James Paton (1897) a founder and superintendent of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (this portrait was bequeathed to Kelvingrove in 1933) and Alexander Duncan of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. 11 He also painted Mr. Scott Dickson, Sir Charles Cameron, Bart., DL, LLD (1897), RGI and Sir John Muir, Lord Provost of Glasgow (1893). 12 His portrait of councillor Alexander Waddell (1893) was presented to Kelvingrove in 1896.13

However, it is probably as a painter of seascapes and marine subjects that he became best known. His picture Where Breakers Roar attracted much attention when exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institute (RGI) in 1874, ‘as a rendering of angry water’.14

Figure 2. Joseph Henderson, The Bailie, No. 277, 6th Feb. 1878. (Mitchell Library).

Henderson was in part responsible for raising the profile and status of artists in Glasgow and was a member of the Glasgow Art Club (he was President in 1887-8), the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts (founded 1861) and the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour.15 Between 1853 and 1892, he exhibited frequently at the RSA and at the RGI and between 1871 and 1886 he had twenty pictures accepted for the Royal Academy in London. In 1901 he was entertained at a dinner by the President and Council of the Glasgow Art Club to celebrate his jubilee as a painter. He was presented with a solid gold and silver palette. An inscription on the palette read: ‘Presented to Joseph Henderson, Esq., R.S.W. by fellow-members of the Art Club as a mark of esteem and a souvenir of his jubilee as a painter, 8th January 1901’ 16

Joseph Henderson was married three times. On  8  January 1856 he married Helen Cosh (d. 1866) with whom he had four children including a daughter Marjory who became the second wife of the artist William McTaggart. On 30 September 1869 he married Helen Young (d. 1871) who bore him one daughter and in 1872 he married Eliza Thomson with whom he had two daughters and who survived him.17 Two of his sons, John (1860 – 1924) and Joseph Morris (1863 – 1936) became artists; John was Director of the Glasgow School of Art from 1918 to 1924.18

By 1871 he had moved with his family; wife Helen, daughter Marjory and sons James, John and Joseph and his mother Marjory from Cathedral Street to 183 Sauchiehall Street. He also employed a general servant. He is described in the census as a ‘portrait painter’.19 In 1881, Joseph was living at 5 La Belle Place, Glasgow with Eliza, two sons and four daughters.20 He later moved to 11 Blythswood Square, Glasgow. 21 In the 1901 census he was still at this address with his wife Eliza, sons John and Joseph and daughter Mary and Bessie. His occupation is ‘portrait and marine painter’.22

Figure 3. Joseph Henderson in 1894. Painted by his son-in-law William McTaggart. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (http://www.artuk.org)
Figure 4. Joseph Henderson, The Bailie, No. 1472, 2nd Jan. 1901. (MItchell Library)

Joseph Henderson painted many of his seascapes at Ballantrae in Ayrshire. At the beginning of July 1908, he again travelled to the Ayrshire coast. However, he succumbed to heart failure and died at Kintyre View, Ballantrae, on 17  July 1908 aged 76 and was buried in Sighthill cemetery in Glasgow. 23  A commemorative exhibition of his works was held at the RGI in November of that year. 24 A full obituary was published in the Glasgow Herald. 25

As well as his devotion to art, Joseph Henderson was a keen angler and golfer. A contemporary account states that he was ‘frank and genial, with an inexhaustible fund of good spirits and a ready appreciation of humour, of which he himself possesses no small share’. 26

A comprehensive account of the life and works of Joseph Henderson has been written by Hilary Christie-Johnston. 27

Thomas Fairbairn (1821 – 1885) was an older contemporary of Henderson and both were friends of John Mossman and Robert Greenlees.  A series of his drawing were acquired by Glasgow Corporation. 28 It is possible that the painting The Sweep`s Land, Stockwell Street was given to him by the artist.

References.

  1. Glasgow Corporation Minutes, 6 July 1898, p 642.
  2. Scotland’s People, 1841 Census, St. Cuthbert’s Edinburgh
  3. glasgowwestaddress.co.uk/1909
  4. J. L. Caw, rev. Elizabeth S. Cumming. ‘Henderson, Joseph (1832–1908)’. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  5. Scotland`s People, 1851 Census, St. Cuthbert`s Edinburgh
  6. glasgowwestaddress.co.uk/1909
  7. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1857-1858, National Library of Scotland
  8. Scotland`s People, 1861 Census, St. David`s, Glasgow
  9. Baile de Laperriere, Charles (ed.) Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors, 1826 – 1990, Vol II,  Hillmartin Manor Press, 1991
  10. https://www.markmitchellpaintings.com/joseph-henderson-1832-1908
  11. Billcliffe, Roger, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1989. Vol 2, Roger The Woodend Press, 1991
  12. Glasgow Herald, 18th July 1908, p9
  13. Art UK/ Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
  14. Waters, Grant M., Dictionary of British Artists, (1900 – 1950),  Eastbourne Fine Arts Publications, 1975.
  15. glasgowwestaddress.co.uk/1909
  16. Glasgow Herald, 18 July 1908, p9
  17. Caw, J. L.  rev. Elizabeth S. Cumming. ‘Henderson, Joseph (1832–1908)’. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  18. Glasgow School of Art, archives
  19. Scotland`s People, 1871 Census, Glasgow, Barony
  20. Scotland’s People, 1881 Census, Glasgow
  21. Scotland’s People, 1891 Census, Glasgow
  22. Scotland`s People, 1901 Census, Blythswood, Glasgow
  23. Scotland`s People; Death Certificate.
  24. Billcliffe, Roger, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1989. Vol 2, Roger The Woodend Press, 1991
  25. Glasgow Herald, 18 July 1908.
  26. The Bailie, Mitchell Library, Glasgow, GC 920.04 BAI., No. 277, Feb. 6th, 1878; No. 1472, Jan. 2nd. 1901.
  27. Christie-Johnston, Hilary, Joseph Henderson: Doyen of Glasgow Artists, 1832 – 1908,   Macmillan Art Publishing, Melbourne, Australia, 2013
  28. https://electricscotland.com/art/artinscotland18o.htm

 

Robert Gemmell Hutchison (1855 – 1936)

Robert Gemmell Hutchison pre 1900
Figure 1. Robert Gemmell Hutcheson, R.S.W., R.B.A.from a chalk study by H.W.Kerr, A.R.S.A. G. Setoun, Art Journal, 1900 p 321

In December 1918, Robert Gemmell Hutchison of 8, St. Bernard`s Crescent, Edinburgh and “Coral Den”, Carnoustie presented the painting Getting Ready to Glasgow Corporation as a memorial to his son the artist.1

(c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
Figure 2. Getting Ready by George Jackson Hutchison, 1916. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (www.artuk.org)

Robert Gemmell Hutchison was born at 35, North Richmond Street, Edinburgh on 1st July 1855. He was the first child of George Hutchison, a brass founder, and his wife Margaret Forman. 2 Soon after his birth, the family moved to 37, Carrubbers Close, Canongate. 3 It is not recorded which school Robert attended but he did not enjoy the experience! He was described as “scraping from class to class with as little work as possible, and, as soon as he could, leaving it gladly”.4 From the census of 1871, the family was still at 37, Carrubbers Close and had increased to seven; three sons and four daughters. Robert`s occupation was “seal engraver”. 5 “Still, if he did not like school, he liked seal-engraving, to which he was apprenticed, less”. With encouragement from his mother of whom he “always speaks with great reverence”, he was determined to become an artist and gave up seal-engraving to attend, aged 17, the Board of Manufacturers` School of Art in Edinburgh (also called the Trustees Academy).6 One of his instructors here was William McTaggart. He also attended the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) Schools. At this time, he received valuable advice and help from the artist J. Campbell Noble, RSA and thus encouraged he sent some of his paintings to the RSA Annual Exhibitions. After several rejections, he was eventually successful in 1878 when he had three small landscapes exhibited: Youthful Labour, Quiet Pastures and A Country Well. 7 One of these was bought by the Royal Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland and for which Hutchison received the sum of six guineas. 8 He submitted the paintings from his studio at 1, India Buildings, Edinburgh.

On 24th June 1879, Robert aged 23, married Janet Boe who was 21 and the daughter of a grocer in Biggar. The marriage took place at 4, Morningside Park, Edinburgh. On the marriage certificate he listed his occupation as “artist (figure painter)” and his address as 38, Jamaica Street, Edinburgh. For some reason he omitted to sign his surname on the certificate! 9 The couple had nine children only five of whom survived infancy 10. These were four daughters; Jane (1880-1956), Marion Maud (1887-1963), Roberta Louise (1889-1966), Ann Carr Forman (1893-1978) and a son, George Jackson Hutchison who was born in 1895. In 1881, Robert was with his wife and daughter Jane at 26, Caledonian Place, Edinburgh. His occupation was “artist”.11

After a period spent painting landscapes along the Fife coast, Robert began to specialise in scenes of Scottish rural life especially those involving children and in the year after his marriage, he had a painting The Empty Cradle exhibited at the Royal Academy (RA) in London. His studio was now at 53, George Street, Edinburgh. There followed five exhibits at the RA over the next decade all sent from addresses in London.12 He continued to exhibit annually at the RSA and in 1886 was awarded a prize for his painting Boys Guddling Trout. From 1888 onwards he also exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institute. At the 1891 Census he was an “artist, figure and portrait”, living at 4, Melville Place, Edinburgh with his wife and four daughters. 13 His son George was born at the same address four years later. 14

He began to paint and exhibit widely throughout Britain. A favourite location was Carnoustie in Angus where he had a house, “Coral Den”, in William Street. He also painted in Macrihanish, at Musselburgh and on the Farne Islands. From about 1896 to 1903 the family (Robert, Janet, Roberta, Ann and George) was living at St. Ive`s Cottage Lanark Road, Braidwood, Carluke. 15,16 Robert was elected to many prestigious institutions throughout the British Isles; e.g. to the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour, (RSW) in 1895, the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA), 1896, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI), and Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy (ARSA) in 1901 and RSA in 1911.17 In 1903 he exhibited a work Bairnies Cuddle Doon at the Paris Salon. 18 He was awarded a gold medal and the painting was purchased by the Scottish Modern Arts Association.21 He was awarded a second gold medal at the Paris Salon Exhibition of 1928 for his painting The White Seam. This was bought by Paisley Corporation and is now at the Paisley Museum and Art Gallery. Hutchison was elected to full membership of the RSA in 1911, replacing William McTaggart who had died the previous year.20 “Gemmell Hutchison had held McTaggart in the highest esteem and it was to him that he owed his loose painterly technique and in many ways his most popular subject matter – that of children on the beach. Both his family and that of McTaggart confirmed that the latter was a luminary for Hutchison. 21

RGHutchison Edit
Figure 3. Robert Gemmell Hutchison (early 1900s). Royal Scottish Academy Archives  Copyright R.S.A                                   

Another influence on Hutchison was the artistic style of the Hague School in Holland which he visited in 1905. On his return to Scotland he took to painting in the open air with a “looser technique and lighter palette”. 22 One of his works of this period was Seagulls and Sapphire Seas (1909) which he sold to Bolton Art Gallery in 1912 (Appendix 1). In 1910 he was commissioned to paint the coronation of George V and Queen Mary at Westminster Abbey. From the census of 1911 he and his family were living at 14, Craighall Terrace, Inveresk, Musselburgh. In his later years he spent his summers at his daughter`s home in Coldingham, Berwickshire painting outdoors. His subjects included views of St. Abbs, Gulls on the Farne Islands as well as portraits of his daughter. He continued to exhibit up till the year of his death.

Robert Gemmell Hutchison died of a cerebral haemorrhage at Coldingham on 23rd August 1936. He was 81 years of age. 23 He was buried in the Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh after a private service at his home at 8, St. Bernard`s Crescent. Two of his daughters, his son-in-law and a nephew were among the pall-bearers. Also present were many fellow artists and members of the artistic establishment. 24,25

His estate was valued at £11,079.10s.7p with his two daughter named as next of kin. 26

Headstone
Figure 4. Gravestone in Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh.© http://www.gravestonephotos.com

Various critics have commented on his painting style:

“Robert Gemmell Hutchison is one of the best-known of the early twentieth-century Scottish artists who drew their inspiration from the Hague School of painters and by the work of the nineteenth century Dutch artists Joseph Israels and Bernardus Johannes Blommers. His paintings of fisher-folk, especially of young children playing by the sea or seated in cottage interiors, have a charming pathos and are similar in subject to those painted by his luminary William McTaggart ”. 27

He “has an appreciation of the fusing influence of tone and atmosphere, and brings a broad and vigorous method of painting, good drawing, and effective design to bear upon a rather fresh view of village life. Despite a certain commonness, his pictures are usually well thought out, and, logically put together in a pictorial way, tell their stories with considerable point. His feeling again, although lacking in charm or novel insight, is sympathetic, and his treatment of childhood, if somewhat literal, fresh and individual”. 28

His paintings today are valued and continue to sell well e.g. The Village Carnival sold for £110,000 in Edinburgh in 2006. 29 (See also Appendix 2).

George Jackson Hutchison was a gifted painter but was killed in action at Merville, France on 28th June 1918 aged only twenty-two. He had served as a private in the K.O.S.B.s. After George`s death, his father presented his painting Getting Ready to Glasgow Corporation as a memorial to his son. The painting was accepted on 18th December 1918. The Minutes of the Corporation record that;

“The sub-committee agreed to accept the picture by this talented young artist, who made the supreme sacrifice for King and Country, and to recommend that the Corporation accord his father a vote of thanks for the gift and extend to him their sympathy and condolence in his bereavement”. 30

Each year, Edinburgh College of Art awards a “George Jackson Hutchison Memorial Prize” for outstanding painting. It seems likely that this was initiated by Robert Gemmell Hutchison in memory of his son. However, Edinburgh College of Art, now incorporated into Edinburgh University, could not confirm this due to the current state of their records.

References

  1. Glasgow Corporation Minutes, Sub-Committee on Art Galleries and Museums, C1 3.60, p330, 18th December 1918.
  2. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
  3. ancestry.co.uk, Scotland Census 1861
  4. Setoun, G., R. Gemmell Hutchison, R.S.W., R.B.A., Art Journal, 1900, pp 321-6
  5. ancestry.co.uk, Census 1871
  6. Setoun, G., R. Gemmell Hutchison, R.S.W., R.B.A., Art Journal, 1900, pp 321-6
  7. Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors, 1826 – 1990, Hilmartin Manor Press, 1991.
  8. Setoun, G., R. Gemmell Hutchison, R.S.W., R.B.A., Art Journal, 1900, pp 321-6.
  9. Scotland`s People, Marriage Certificate
  10. Scotland`s People, Census 1911
  11. Scotland`s People, Census 1881
  12. Catalogues of the Royal Academy Exhibitions, 1880-89, W. Clowes and Sons, Ltd.
  13. Scotland`s People, Census 1891
  14. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
  15. Scotland`s People, Census 1901
  16. Slater`s National Commercial Directory of Scotland, 1882-1915
  17. Johnson, J and Greutzner, A., Dictionary of British Artists, 1880 – 1940, , Antique Collectors Club, 1976).
  18. Setoun, G., R. Gemmell Hutchison, R.S.W., R.B.A., Art Journal, 1900, pp 321-6
  19. Fowle, Frances, The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, OUP, 2004-13, May 2011.
  20. The Scotsman, February 9th, 1911, p5.
  21. https://lyonandturnbull.com/content/show_news.asp?id=146
  22. Fowle, Frances, The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, OUP, 2004-13, May 2011.
  23. Scotland`s People, Death Certificate
  24. The Scotsman, August 27th, 1936, p8.
  25. The Scotsman, August 24th, 1936, Death Notices
  26. Confirmations and Inventories, 1936, Mitchell Library, Glasgow
  27. artfact.com › Auctioneer Directory
  28. Caw, J.L., Scottish Painting, 1908, p 427-8.
  29. Edinburgh Evening News, May 3rd, 2006.
  30. Glasgow Corporation Minutes, Sub-Committee on Art Galleries and Museums, C1 3.60, p330, 18th December 1918.

Appendix 1

One of the finest paintings by Robert Gemmell Hutchison, possibly the best loved of Scottish artists, set a new world record for the artist at Bonhams Annual Scottish Sale in Edinburgh on Wednesday 31 August, 2011 when it was sold for £120,000. Sea Gulls and Sapphire Seas was painted in 1909 and represents the artist at the height of his powers. In a dazzling display of impressionistic technique, Hutchison places a characteristic foreground of children in the sand dunes against the sparkling sea and whirling gulls. Many of his most popular paintings feature children playing beside the sea and he often used his daughters and their friends as models in coastal locations in Berwickshire, East Lothian and Carnoustie. The painting was sold by Bolton Museum which bought the work from the artist for £150 in 1912.

Beach
Figure 5. Public Domain (http://www.artdaily.org)

Appendix 2

A pensioner has unearthed a hoard of stolen art treasures in the loft of his Helensburgh home. The 67-year-old discovered the missing paintings while rummaging in the dusty room and – not realising their value – decided to try to raise a few pounds by selling them. After seeking advice from an art expert, he was told the paintings were not his to sell. The canvasses were the creations of two celebrated Scottish artists, which had been stolen five years ago and were worth at least £250,000. Inquiries revealed that the three paintings by Robert Gemmell Hutchison and two by Sir James Guthrie were stolen from a house in Helensburgh’s Cairndhu Gardens in 2002. Investigators believe that when the thieves failed to sell the works they dumped them in the communal attic above a block of flats in the town’s Kirkmichael estate. The paintings are The Pink Pinafore, Feeding the Gulls and Cottarita by Gemmell Hutchison and Luss Road and Candlelight by Guthrie.

One resident said: “The old boy went up there on Thursday and initially tried to sell them on. He contacted someone at the Fine Art Council and they made checks and realised they were stolen. “There were five paintings in total and my mate was offered them as a set, but wasn’t that impressed and wouldn’t have paid more than £50 for the lot.” He added: “The paintings have obviously been nicked years ago by a gang of young lads, but when they found out they couldn’t get anything for them, they just dumped them.

Robert Gemmell Hutchison was born in Edinburgh in 1855 and was a prolific artist whose works were lauded around Britain. His work, The Village Carnival, was sold for £110,000 in 2006.  At the time of their theft in 2002 the five paintings were valued at £246,000.

The Scotsman, Saturday 12 January 2008

Lindsay Grandson MacArthur 1873-1956

In 1946 Lindsay MacArthur’s widow, Beatrice Butts Thomson, donated four paintings to Glasgow. Lindsay was an artist and two of these works were his own, The Golden Quarry and Pastorale, Evening. 

MacArthur, Lindsay Grandison, c.1866-1945; The Golden Quarry
Figure 1. MacArthur, Lindsay Grandison; The Golden Quarry; Glasgow. (© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection)

Lindsay’s father, also Lindsay Grandison, was born in the village of Ecclefechan, Dumfriesshire. (1) His mother Catherine McNicol, known as Kate, who hailed from Dublin was Lindsay’s second wife and was twenty- one years his junior. (2) They married in Liverpool in 1860  and shortly moved to Braehead Villa, Oban in Argyll where Lindsay junior was born on 21 April 1865. (3) This was a period when the rail network was expanding, enabling many people to travel to coastal resorts. Oban was already a busy fishing town and ferry port. In 1866 Lindsay senior built the 80 room Alexandra Hotel, on vacant land which is now known as the Corran Esplanade, a prime site overlooking Oban Bay and competed with The Great Western Hotel for the top end of the market. He ran the hotel with his daughter Jane till his death in 1885. He left debts of £2478 of which £1000 was owed to Thomas Lawrie, art dealers in Glasgow, so perhaps Lindsay junior’s interest in art was inspired by his father. The hotel was then managed by Lindsay Senior’s wife until 1897 when it was put up for sale. (4) Although the family had a house at 3 Hampden Terrace in Glasgow, they resided mainly at the Alexandra in Oban in the 1870s. (5) 

blog Alexandra_Hotel,_Oban
Figure 2. Alexandra Hotel, Oban

Lindsay junior appears to have had an early interest in art, attending Glasgow School of Art from 1881 to 1884. (6) In the 1891 census, when he was 25, he is described as a landscape painter. His brother Robert also studied art but by 1891 had become a surgeon. (7) Interestingly the 1881 census reveals that the artist William Black was staying at the Alexandra Hotel. He was a popular novelist whose landscape painting  influenced his writing style such as in White Wings: A Yachting Romance of 1880. (8) 

Lindsay  travelled south in the 1890s and lived in the picturesque village of Broadway in The Cotswolds and became part of a group of artists known as The Broadway Group which was mainly comprised of expatriate American artists. The most prominent member was John Singer Sergeant who produced some of his best known works there such as Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose which was painted in the garden of Russell House in the village. This was the home of American artist Francis Millet who purchased the nearby Abbot’s Grange, a ruined monastery which he converted into a communal artists studio. 

Sargent, John Singer, 1856-1925; Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose
Figure 3. Sargent, John Singer; Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose 1885-6; Tate; digital image © Tate released under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported).

One of Millet’s best known works is Between Two Fires of 1892 which depicts a puritan standing between two rather confident kitchen maids. The puritan figure is modelled on Lindsay MacArthur who is described by a contemporary as ‘a highland landscape artist with a sardonic biting humour, a quick temper and fierce loyalties.’ (9)

Between Two Fires c.1892 by Francis Davis Millet 1846-1912
Figure 4. Francis Davis Millet, Between two Fires, 1892 digital image © Tate released under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported)

Another of Millet’s paintings The Black Sheep, in The New Bedford Library, Massachusetts, and of a similar setting to Between Two Fires includes the same character modelled on MacArthur. Millet’s last return to the USA was, unfortunately, in 1912 when he boarded The Titanic and was last seen helping women and children as she sank. The bohemian Broadway Group had a reputation for the high life, with singing and drinking regularly breaking the peace of the village. The writer Edmund Gosse describes…’Nothing we do scandalises the villagers…one of the Americans was chased down the village street, screaming all the time and and trying to escape up lamp-posts and down wells. Not a villager smiled, they only say ‘them Americans is out again’. (10)

While at Broadway MacArthur designed a bookplate (National Galleries Scotland) for Lady Maud Bowes-Lyon, aunt to Her Majesty The Queen Mother. She lived at Orchard farm in the village and frequently hosted concerts in her music room (she was an accomplished violinist) and held regular art exhibitions. (11)

One of MacArthur’s donations Pastorale, Evening may have been painted during his stay in the Cotswolds, and he exhibited thirteen paintings at The Royal Academy between 1893 and 1904. (12)

MacArthur, Lindsay Grandison, c.1866-1945; Pastorale, Evening
Figure 5. MacArthur, Lindsay Grandison; Pastorale, Evening.(© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection)

The 1901 census places MacArthur at Spencer Street, London and little is known of his whereabouts in the following few years. However, he appears to have spent time travelling as many of his paintings from this period are landscapes and seascapes of Palestine and Ceylon with a few from France. He does not appear to have dated his work.

In 1934 Lindsay married Beatrice Butts Thomson in Chelsea. Beatrice was born in 1873 in Japan to British parents. (13) Her first husband, John Leslie Thomson was a landscape artist from Aberdeen and trained at The Slade in London He was a member of The New English Art Club and requested an invitation to one of Whistler’s famous 10 0’Clock lectures. He died in 1929. (14) They lived at 1 Hornton Street, Kensington. (15)

After their marriage Lindsay and Beatrice lived at 9a St Mary Abbot’s Place, Kensington and over the next few years Lindsay exhibited at Royal Scottish Academy with landscapes of England, Galilee and Ceylon. (16)

Lindsay died in Surrey in 1945 aged 80. (17) In 1946 Beatrice was living at 37 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh and she gifted paintings to public collections around Scotland with the majority going to Kirkcaldy Galleries. Around half of the donations were painted by Lindsay Grandson MacArthur, with the remainder by her first husband John Leslie Thomson. (18) It would appear that both artists were influenced by the French Impressionists, depicting fleeting moments of time and displayed a remarkably similar style to each other.

Thomson, John Leslie, 1851-1929; Seascape, Anglesey
Figure 6. Thomson, John Leslie; Seascape, Anglesey; (© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection)

Beatrice moved to Devon, to the market town of Honiton where she died in 1956. (19)

DS

References

1. (Census, 1881, 677356) http://search.ancestry.co.uk

2. (Census, 1881, 644/9 61/21) https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

3. (Births,Lindsay Grandson MacArthur 523/000023) https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

4.  Fiona Morrison, Bournemouth University Thesis, http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/22514/

5. (Census 1871, 560/00004/00027)  https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

6. Glasgow Schoo; of Art, archives@gsa.ac.uk

7. (Census 1891, 52300002/00001)  https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Black_(novelist)

9. https://www.cotswolds.info/arts-crafts-antiques/broadway-artists.shtml

10. https://www.cotswolds.info/arts-crafts-antiques/broadway-artists.shtml

11. http://www.broadwaymanor.co.uk/blog/page/2/

12. Royal Academy (libraryinformationdesk@royalacademy.org.uk)

13. England and Wales Marriages 1837-2005,  https://search.findmypast.co.ukBMD/M/1934/3/ AZ/000990/030

14. University of Glasgoe, https://www.whistler.arts.gla.ac.uk/correspondence/people/biog/?bid=Thom_JL&firstname=&surname=thomson

15. (Census 1911, 2frg), https://search.findmypast.co.uk

16. Royal Scottish Academy, https://collections@royalscottishacademy.org

17. England and Wales Deaths, https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=bmd1945

18. https://artuk.org

19. England and wales Deaths, https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=bmd2f1945

Thomas Hunt (1854 – 1929)

In 1913 the artist Thomas Hunt donated to Glasgow Museums a painting, Patchwork, accession number 1325, by his late wife Helen Russell Salmon. This report contains biographical notes on both artists.

Thomas Hunt was born in Skipton, Yorkshire in 1854 [1], the sixth child of ten, [2],[3] of John Hunt and his wife Betty (nee Wood) who married in 1848 [4]. John’s main occupation was as a limestone merchant and canal carrier, and he had also been an inspector of tolls.[5] In 1877 he stood for election as a Liberal candidate in the South Ward of Leeds, duly winning by 34 votes.[6] He remained as a councillor until 1892 when he retired from politics.[7] He died in 1900, age 81, leaving an estate valued at £1034 7s 3d, probate being granted to his sons Richard and Henry.[8]

Thomas initially started out as commercial clerk [9] probably working for his father, however by the age of 21 he had become a full-time artist having been inspired to do so after attending an International Art Exhibition in Leeds at the age of 15.[10] There is reference in a Scottish Art Dictionary to him studying in Paris under Raphael Collins, receiving an honorable mention at the Paris Salon in 1905, and attending the Glasgow School of Art and the Leeds equivalent.[11] However there is no record of him attending the Glasgow school [12] nor has any better source been identified which confirms his connection with the Leeds School or Paris. By 1879 he was living at 113 West Regent Street in Glasgow,[13] that address consisting of a number of offices, housing professional people such as architects, writers and accountants, and six artist studios, one of which he occupied.[14] In 1884 another studio at that address was occupied by the artist Helen Russell Salmon, whom he eventually married a few years later.[15]

Helen, born in 1855 in Glasgow,[16] was the daughter of the architect James Salmon, whose company James Salmon and Son, between 1862 and 1903, was involved with the building of a number of public and professional structures in Glasgow and elsewhere, including schools, churches, banks and hospitals. He first made his name with the building of St. Matthew’s Church in Bath Street and building, for Archibald McLennan, an art warehouse in Miller Street.[17] In 1854 Salmon was commissioned by Alexander Dennistoun to design the new east end suburb of Dennistoun, a design not fully realized,[18] where, by 1871 the Salmon family was resident at 3 Broompark Circus.[19] They were however unsuccessful participants in the competition for the City Chambers in George Square in 1880, and also for alterations to the Virginia Street side of the Trades House in 1882.[20] James was the co-founder of the Glasgow Architectural Society in 1858 and was a Baillie of Glasgow between 1864 and 1872. [21] His wife was Helen Russell whom he married in 1837 in Edinburgh.[22]

In the census of 1871 daughter Helen Russell Salmon is recorded as a scholar living in the family home.[23] In 1874 she is listed in the Glasgow School of Art student catalogue, during which year she won a local competition, ‘Stage 6b, figure shaded from flat, book prize.’[24] Where she was resident at that time is not listed in the school records however by 1881 she is living with her sister Margaret and her husband David Miller in Bridge of Allan and is described as an artist.[25] Her father, now a widower, her mother having died in January 1881,[26] continued to live at Broompark Circus with two of Helen’s siblings.[27] Her usual residence for the next few years is unclear, however from 1882 to 1883 she had a studio at 101 St Vincent before moving to 113 St Vincent Street in 1884, at which address she painted from until 1888.[28] It’s quite possible that she also lived at these addresses at varying times however when she married Thomas Hunt on 27th October 1887, her usual residence was given as 3 Broompark Circus which is where her marriage took place.[29]

In 1891 Tom and Helen were living In Garelochhead, [30] where she died in August of that year having been ill with phthisis (tuberculosis) for two years.[31] In the 1891 census her occupation is not recorded which perhaps suggests she had ceased to paint some time before then due to her illness. Patchwork, which was painted in 1888,[32] and was exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institutes of the Fine Arts in 1889 [33] was one of her last works.

In a letter dated 29th January 1948 to John Fleming, Deputy Director of Kelvingrove Art Gallery, from Robert Lillie, founder of the Lillie Gallery in Milngavie, [34] the subject of the painting is identified as Miss Annie Elizabeth Nisbet, the adopted daughter of John Nisbet, church officer of St John’s Church in George Street, Glasgow, and his wife Agnes.[35] In the letter, which tells of her death, she is described as the ‘Belle of St John’s’. In 1900 she married Robert Arbuckle Mackie, her adoptive parents being deceased by then.[36] She died, aged 80 in January 1948.[37]

Figure 1 ‘Patchwork;’ Helen Russell Salmon 1888.     © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(http://www.artuk.org)

Helen had 23 paintings exhibited by the Glasgow Institute between 1882 and 1891, the last  of which were painted in 1889, and two, Madge and Wallflowers which were completed at her home in Garelochhead, in 1891.[38]She also had her work exhibited by the Royal and Royal Scottish Academies between 1884 and 1890.[39]

In 1935 the Catalogue of the Pictures in the Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries, page 205, carried a short biography of Helen in which it stated she had trained in Paris. Also included were details of her painting Patchwork.[40]

In 1982 an exhibition in the Collins Exhibition Hall of Strathclyde University was held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Glasgow Society of Lady Artists. The catalogue of the exhibition, which also took place at the Fine Art Society premises in Edinburgh later that year, included on page 23 a black and white illustration of one of Helen’s paintings.[41]

Tom eventually moved back to Glasgow and by 1895 was living at 219 West George Street.[42] Between then and his death he stayed at various Glasgow addresses including Holland Street,[43] Bath Street,[44] and finally Hill Street in Garnethill.

He was elected a member of the Glasgow Art Club in 1879, became vice president in 1883 and was club president in 1906-1907.[45]

Figure 2 Tom Hunt drawn by Wat Miller of the Glasgow Art Club. Courtesy of the Glasgow Art Club

He exhibited at the club and elsewhere including the Burns Exhibition of 1896 in Glasgow where his paintings A Winter’s Night and Alloway Kirk were shown,[46] the annual RSW shows, and also several times from 1881 at the Royal Academy in London and the Royal Scottish Academy.[47] He also exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institutes of the Fine Arts yearly between 1879 and 1929 with a total of 138 paintings being shown during this period, the last three of which were posthumous.

The prices of his paintings during these exhibitions were anywhere between £30 and £300.[48] His wife Helen’s were typically priced at under £30.[49]

He was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW) in 1885 [50] and was made an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy (ASRA) in 1929.[51]

He is represented in the museums of Sheffield, Leeds, Perth and Kinross, Paisley, Inverclyde, South Ayrshire and the Hunterian in Glasgow. There are three of his paintings in Glasgow Museums: Corner of Hope Street and Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, gifted 1917, accession number 1444, A Few Remarks’ gifted 1939, accession number 2124, and November, Braes of Balquidder purchased 1914, accession number 1343.[52]

He died of pnuemonia on the 13th March 1929 in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, his usual residence being given as 156 Hill Street. His death was registered by E.E. Smith his niece from Leeds.[53] His estate was valued at £1889 12s 3d and on the 15th August his fellow artists Joseph Morris Henderson and Archibald Kay, were confirmed as his executors.[54]

[1] Births (PR) England. Skipton, Yorkshire. 1st Qtr 1854. HUNT, Thomas. England & Wales Births 1837-2006 Transcriptions. www.findmypast.co.uk:

[2] Census. 1861 England. Leeds, Yorkshire. ED 9, Schedule 47, piece 3371, folio 51, page 10. www.ancestry.co.uk:

[3] Census. 1871 England. Leeds, Yorkshire. ED 9, Schedule 23, piece 4543, folio 6, page 5. www.ancestry.co.uk:

[4] Marriages (PR) England. Leeds, St Peter, Yorkshire. 29 August 1848. HUNT. John and WOOD, Betty. Collection: West Yorkshire, England, Marriages and Banns 1813-1935. www.ancestry.co.uk:

[5] Census. 1861 England. Leeds, Yorkshire. ED 9, Schedule 47, piece 3371, folio 51, page 10. www.ancestry.co.uk and Census. 1871 England. Leeds, Yorkshire. ED 9, Schedule 23, piece 4543, folio 6, page 5. www.ancestry.co.uk

[6] Leeds Mercury. (1877) Election Results. Leeds Mercury. 3 November 1877. Supplement p.1a. Collection: 19th Century British Newspapers. National Library of Scotland. www.find.galegroup.com.connect.nls.uk/bncn/publicationSearch.do:

[7] Leeds Times, (1892) Municipal Elections. Leeds Times. 22 October 1892. p.5f

[8] Testamentary Records. England.6 April 1900. HUNT, John. Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the grants of probate. p.275. Collection: National Probate Calendar 1858-1966.www.ancestry.co.uk:

[9] Census. 1871 England. Leeds, Yorkshire. ED 9, Schedule 23, piece 4543, folio 6, page 5. www.ancestry.co.uk

[10] Eyre-Todd, George. (1909). Who’s Who in Glasgow 1909. Glasgow: Gowan and Grey. Collection: Glasgow Digital Library. http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/eyrwho/:

[11] McEwan, Peter J M (1994). Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors Club. Mitchell Library reference: f.709.411. MCE

[12] Grant, Jocelyn. (2015) Thomas Hunt and Helen Russell Salmon. E-mail to George Manzor, 30 November 2015. g.manzor@ntlworld.com:

[13] Billcliffe, Roger (1991). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 2. Mitchell Library (Glasgow) reference: f.709.411.074 Roy.

[14] Valuation Rolls. 1885. Scotland, Glasgow, West Regent Street, HUNT, Thomas. GROS Data VR102/335/171. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk:

[15] Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library (Glasgow) reference: f.709.411.074 Roy.

[16] Births (CR) Scotland. Central District, Glasgow. 17 October 1855. SALMON, Helen Russell GROS Data 644/01 1358. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk:

[17] Dictionary of Scottish Architects. http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=200029

[18] Dennistoun Conservation Society. http://www.dennistounconservationsociety.org.uk/Page.asp?Title=History&Section=11&Page=11:

[19] Census 1871 Scotland. Springburn, Glasgow. GROS Data 644/02 100/00 022). www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk:

[20] Dictionary of Scottish Architects. http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=200029

[21] Ibid.

[22] Marriages (PR) Scotland. Edinburgh, Midlothian. 20 March 1837. SALMON, James and RUSSELL, Helen. GROS Data 685/01 0650 0219. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk:

[23] Census 1871 Scotland. Springburn, Glasgow. GROS Data 644/02 100/00 022).

www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[24] Grant, Jocelyn. (2015) Thomas Hunt and Helen Russell Salmon. E-mail to George Manzor, 30 November 2015. g.manzor@ntlworld.com

[25] Census 1881 Scotland. Logie, Bridge of Allan. GROS Data 374/00 003/00 001. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[26] Deaths (CR) Scotland. 19 January 1881. SALMON, Helen. GROS Data 644/03 0107.

www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[27] Census 1881 Scotland. Springburn, Glasgow. GROS Data 644/03 037/00 017.

www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[28] Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library (Glasgow) reference: f.709.411.074 Roy.

[29] Marriages (CR) Scotland. Dennistoun, Lanark. 27 October 1887. HUNT, Thomas and SALMON, Helen Russell. GROS Data 644/03 0383. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[30] Census 1891 Scotland. Row, Garelochhead. GROS Data 503/00 013/00 009.

www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[31] Deaths (CR) Scotland. 5 August 1891. HUNT, Helen Russell. GROS Data 503/00 0124.

www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[32] BBC My Paintings. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/patchwork-85945

[33] Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library reference: (Glasgow) f.709.411.074 Roy.

[34] East Dunbartonshire Leisure + Culture. http://www.edlc.co.uk/arts/lillie_art_gallery.aspx:

[35] Lillie, Robert. (1948) Letter to John Fleming. 29 January. GMRC Archives and Object file.

[36] Marriages (CR) Scotland. Blythswood, Glasgow. 26 September 1900. MACKIE, Robert Arbuckle and Nisbet, Annie Elizabeth. GROS Data 644/07 0994. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[37] Deaths (CR) Scotland. Milton, Glasgow. 26 January 1948. MACKIE, Annie Elizabeth. GROS Data 644/10 0045. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[38] Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library reference (Glasgow): f.709.411.074 Roy.

[39] McEwan, Peter J M (1994). Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors Club. Mitchell Library reference: f.709.411. MCE

[40] GMRC Object File – Helen Russell Salmon.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Valuation Rolls. 1895. Scotland, Glasgow, West George Street, HUNT, Thomas. GROS Data VR102/463/167. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk:

[43] Census 1911 Scotland. Blythswood, Glasgow. GROS Data 644/11 033/00 031.

www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[44] Valuation Rolls. 1925. Scotland, Glasgow, Bath Street, HUNT, Thomas. GROS Data VR102/1368/274. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk:

[45] Macaskill. D.K. (2015) Glasgow Art Club Minute Books. E-mail to George Manzor, 26 June 2015. g.manzor@ntlworld.com:

[46] (1898) Memorial Catalogue of the Burns Exhibition 1896.  Glasgow: William Hodge & Co. and T & R Annan & Sons. https://archive.org/stream/cu31924029635798#page/n7/mode/2up:

[47] McEwan, Peter J M (1994). Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors Club. Mitchell Library reference: f.709.411. MCE

[48] Billcliffe, Roger (1991). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 2. Mitchell Library reference (Glasgow): f.709.411.074 Roy.

[49] Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library reference (Glasgow): f.709.411.074 Roy.

[50] Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour. http://www.rsw.org.uk/pages/members_page.php?recordID=133:

[51] Billcliffe, Roger (1991). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 2. Mitchell Library reference: f.709.411.074 Roy.

[52] BBC My Paintings. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/thomas-hunt:

[53] Deaths (CR) Scotland. Dennistoun, Glasgow. 13 March 1929. HUNT, Thomas GROS Data 644/04 0530. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[54] Testamentary Records. Scotland. 15 August 1929. HUNT, Thomas. Scotland, National Probate Index (Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories), 1876-1939. . www.anc

Agnes Gardner King(1857-1929)

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Figure 1 William Thomson (Lord Kelvin)© CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

In 1920, Agnes Gardner King offered a painting of her uncle, William Thomson, later Lord Kelvin, to Glasgow Art Galleries. The painting was by J Graham Gilbert, a Glasgow artist.

Agnes Gardner King was born in Ilkley, York shire in 1857 to Elizabeth Thomson and the Reverend David King, LLD (1). She had a sister Elizabeth Thomson King. Her mother, Elizabeth Thomson, was the sister of William Thomson, later Lord Kelvin, and James Thomson. William and Elizabeth were great friends and often went on walking tours together when they were in their twenties in Switzerland(2)(3). Elizabeth was an accomplished amateur artist and some of her paintings are in the National Portrait Gallery in London(4).

kelvin and siblings Agnes gardner King
Figure 2. William,James and Elizabeth Thomson by Agnes Thomson King National Portait Gallery, London, reproduced with permission

It is not known how Agnes was educated and what her training was but she became a gifted artist in watercolour. She painted pictures of children and also landscapes. She is featured in the Dictionary of British Artists. Her most interesting work ,which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, is a charcoal drawing of her uncles Baron Kelvin (William Thomson), and James Thomson with her mother Elizabeth King.

Her Canadian Paintings are in the Canadian Government Archives. One is entitled ”View of Sleeping Beauty from Windows of C P R Hotel, Vancouver”(5).

She published a number of books alone or with her sister. These include: My Sister by Agnes Gardner King; Daily Texts for the the Little Ones by Elizabeth Thomson King illustrated by Agnes Gardner King; Islands Far Away. Fijian Pictures with Pen and and Brush by Agnes Gardner King; Kelvin the Man, a Biographical Sketch by his Niece, Agnes Gardner King.

In 1912, after an undisclosed illness and needing recuperation, she fulfilled a long-standing wish to travel to Fiji(6). She travelled with a companion, Mrs Hopkirk, sailing on the Empress of Britain from Liverpool through storms and, in fact, a snowstorm and in sight of icebergs, to land in Québec. They crossed Canada by train to Victoria and then embarked on the Makura to the Sandwich Islands and then on to Fiji. She travelled around the islands writing about spending a week in a Fijian village, travelling up the Navua River on a boat poled by native boatmen and enjoying the hospitality of a number of Chiefs in many villages and towns. This book, which ran to 2 editions, was published in 1921 and it is illustrated by 80 pen and ink and charcoal drawings. It gives a remarkable picture of islands which had, in living memory, a history of cannibalism. It also reflects her indomitable spirit and openness to different patterns of life.

 

  1. The Young Kelvin at Home by Elizabeth Thomson King
  2. Ancestry.co.uk
  3. The Life of Lord Kelvin by Silvanus Thompson
  4. http://www.npg.org.uk
  5. http://www.archivescanada.ca
  6. Islands far Away. Fijian Pictures with Pen and Brush by Agnes Gardner King. Bibliolife