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In The Artists' Footsteps

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Nan S Fergusson (Mrs James Henderson) 1910 - 1984


Archie Sutter Watt


Christian Jane (Chris) Fergusson


Edward Arthur Walton


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


E A Taylor


JMW Turner


Jemima Wedderburn


Christopher Whall


The Dumfries and Galloway Fine Art Society


William Robson

On the 31st May 1863 Eliza Richardson housekeeper to a well-to-do Edinburgh lawyer, George Sinclair had a son William.  When Sinclair died he left an estate, Dalreoch, in Ayrshire to William and his sister Clair.  It was a condition of the bequest that William change his name to Robson.  The income from the estate allowed Bill Robson to devote his life to art.

 

Robson studied in Paris before moving to Italy, where he settled on the island of Capri marrying Carmella Spadaro, the daughter of a local fisherman.  In 1896 the Robsons returned to Scotland with their growing family and settled in Edinburgh.  Here Bill was chairman of the Society of Scottish Artists in 1902.  His growing circle of acquaintances brought him into contact with the Kircudbright artists.  He first came to the town on holiday and was attracted both by the opportunities to paint and the chance to fish and shoot, and soon decided to settle locally.  From 1904 to 1907 he, Carmella and their seven children lived in Mouncey's former house, Woodlea in Kirkcudbright, before moving to Arden, Twynholm.  Finally in 1920 the Robsons moved to 52 High Street, Kirkcudbright, the former King's Arms Inn, which became the social centre of the artists' colony.

 

Bill Robson exhibited regularly at the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts and from time to time at the Royal Academy in London.  While he often worked in pastel, paintings such as a Sunlit Garden, Twynholm are representative of his time in the village; other large works in oil such as his paintings of Lairdmannoch capture not only the Galloway countryside in August but one of the places he loved to fish and shoot.

 

Bill Robson played a full part in the life of Kirkcudbright.  For over twenty years he was president of the local St Cuthberts Football Club and was also for many years a member of the local life boat crew.  Bill and Carmella died within three days of each other in 1950.  On hearing of their deaths from Charles Oppenheimer their old friend Dorothy L Sayers concluded her letter to their daughter Clair with the words:  "They were always so sweet to me when I came round to see you all, only the other day I was thinking of your mother in her tomato house, and all the ferns she used to cultivate in her Chianti bottles"

A Sunlit Garden, Twynholm

A Sunlit Garden, Twynholm

Garden at Twynholm

Garden at Twynholm

High Street, Kirkcudbright

High Street, Kirkcudbright

Lairdmannoch

Lairdmannoch