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In The Artists' Footsteps

Select a Story


Donald Watson 1918 - 2005

Harbour Cottage Gallery Kirkcudbright - 60th Anniversary

Archie Sutter Watt

Nan S Fergusson (Mrs James Henderson) 1910 - 1984

E A Taylor

Edward Arthur Walton

Christian Jane (Chris) Fergusson

James Paterson

E. A. Hornel

Jankel Adler

Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell

William Hanna Clarke

William Daniell

George Wright

James Faed (Senior)

James Faed Junior

John Faed

Susan Bell Faed

The Faeds

David Gauld

The Glasgow Girls

Tom Gourdie

The Glasgow Boys

Francis Grose

George Henry

Anna and Isobel Hotchkis

James G (Tim) Jeffs

Jessie M King

Oskar Kokoschka

William Miles Johnston

John Maxwell

Henry Joseph Moule

William Mouncey

William Stewart MacGeorge

Charles Oppenheimer

Samuel John Peploe

William Bruce Ellis Ranken

William Robson

Charles William Stewart

Jim Sturgeon

Alick Riddell Sturrock

JMW Turner

Jemima Wedderburn

Christopher Whall

The Dumfries and Galloway Fine Art Society

William Stewart MacGeorge

William Stewart MacGeorge was born in King Street, Castle Douglas on the first of April 1861.  Like his friend E A Hornel he was the son of a shoe maker.  His father was David MacGeorge, who according to the 1861 census, was the employer of three men and a boy.


MacGeorge was said to be a delicate child and was therefore not discouraged from sketching.  He attended the Free Church School in Castle Douglas where a fellow pupil was S R Crockett.  Crockett included his childhood friends as characters in his 1894 novel The Raiders, and captures MacGeorge’s happy disposition in the character Jerry McWhirter, ’a roguish fellow that came to me to help with my land surveying, but was keener to draw with colours on paper, the hues of the landskip and the sea.  But he was dearest to us because of his continual merry heart, which did us good like a medicine.’


MacGeorge entered the Trustees Academy on the Mound in Edinburgh in 1880 along with fellow Galloway boys E A Hornel and Thomas Bromley Blacklock.  In the 1881 census we find MacGeorge and Crockett lodging together at 50 St Leonard Street.  MacGeorge was a successful student being a prize winner in his second and third years at art school and had a work shown in the RSA in 1881.


In 1883 MacGeorge and Hornel along with William Walls and William Burn - Murdoch enrolled in Antwerp’s Academie Royale des Beaux Arts, where MacGeorge again excelled under the rigorous discipline of Charles Verlat.  On his return to Scotland he enrolled in the RSA Life Schools in Edinburgh, where he continued his studies and embarked on his professional career.


Thereafter, W S MacGeorge divided his life largely between Edinburgh and Galloway.  He lived at 11 Melville Place, Edinburgh during the winter and had a studio in Kirkcudbright in the summer.  Works such as A Galloway Peat Moss, displayed in the National Gallery of Scotland, is a fine example of a plein air realist work showing the influence of Jules Bastien - Lepage on Scottish artists while his Halloween, shown at the RSA in 1893 and to which he returned in his diploma work of 1911 is an example of his interest in childhood rituals. The painting attracted attention when shown later that year at the Paris salon.


W S MacGeorge was the most naturalistic of the Galloway artists.  Informal scenes of children at play are typical of his work. A favourite subject, too, was the salmon fishers and their nets on the Dee at Kirkcudbright.  Commenting on the RSA exhibition of 1910 The Studio observed, ‘One of the outstanding landscapes is Mr W S MacGeorge’s view of salmon fishers at dusk drawing their nets in the estuary of the Kirkcudbright Dee’.  The painting Kirkcudbright is now in the collection of the City Art Centre, Edinburgh.


Late in his life MacGeorge married Mabel Victoria Elliot, a watercolour painter and widow of the artist Hugh Munro and settled at Gifford near Haddington.  Following MacGeorge’s death in 1931 his widow left 45 of his works, many of them Galloway subjects to the town of Haddington.


Yair Net on the Dee, Kirkcudbright

Yair Net on the Dee, Kirkcudbright

The Wood Cutters

The Wood Cutters

Kirkconnel Glen

Kirkconnel Glen

Cave at Auchenlair (Auchenlairie)

Cave at Auchenlair (Auchenlairie)