Sir William Oliphant Hutchison

Sir William Oliphant Hutchison, LLD PRSA (Scottish)
1889 – 1971
Portrait of a lady, watercolor, signed l/l, 15″ x 11″ unframed

Portrait of a lady, watercolor, signed
Click to enlarge.

Very good unframed condition. In portfolio since aquisition from Northumberland, England in 2005.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Sir William Oliphant Hutchison LLD PRSA (2 July 1889 – 5 February 1970) was a Scottish portrait and landscape painter. He was an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy, President of the Royal Scottish Academy and a member of the Royal Society of Arts.

Born in Kirkcaldy, Hutchison was a scholar at Kirkcaldy High School, and subsequently at Rugby School. He attended the Edinburgh College of Art between 1909 and 1912. On leaving he started the Edinburgh Group, holding exhibitions for three consecutive years, with Eric Robertson, Alick Riddell Sturrock, John Guthrie Spence Smith, Dorothy Johnstone, Mary Newbery, and David Macbeth Sutherland who later became Principal at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen. Hutchison also worked and studied in Paris for a while, mainly painting portraits though also producing landscape and figure paintings.

Hutchison enlisted during the First World War serving with the Royal Garrison Artillery and being stationed in Malta, later being badly wounded in France. After demobilization in 1918, he and his wife occupied a studio flat in Edinburgh until 1921, before moving to London. Here he successfully worked as a portrait painter, exhibiting at the Royal Academy, becoming a member of the Savage Club, and enjoying a large circle of friends, mainly from the art world.

Hutchison was Director of the Glasgow School of Art from 1933 to 1943, from all accounts being an excellent director. Though a great traditionalist he encouraged those who tended to the avant-garde. The school maintained an interest in those staff and students serving during World War II, sending them gifts and cards.

In 1955 Hutchison was commissioned to paint Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

On leaving the Glasgow School of Art, Hutchison carried on with portraiture both in Edinburgh and London. A large exhibition of his work was held in London in 1964.

Hutchison served on numerous art-related bodies—he was a Committee member of The Edinburgh College of Art, the Board of Management of the Royal Scottish Academy, Director of The Glasgow School of Art, an Associate of The Royal Scottish Academy, President of The Glasgow Art Club, and Vice-president of The Scottish Modern Arts Association.

He served as President of the Royal Scottish Academy from 1950 to 1959 and was knighted in 1953.

He died on 5 February 1970 at his home at 30 Oakwood Court, Kensington, London.

He is buried in Collessie churchyard in central Fife in Scotland, just east of the church.

Sir William exhibited at The Glasgow Institute (39 times), Walker Gallery (13), Royal Academy (25) and Royal Scottish Academy (63).

1926 Self Portrait

A family member of the artist contacted me to suggest this might not be a work of Sir William – that it was nothing like anything they had seen from his studio. Of course not! This was a quick watercolor drawing of a lovely young woman who could have been his house keeper. She was important enough that he signed the watercolor. A signature that is unquestionably his! No one would choose this watercolor to forge Sir William’s signature for the very reason sited by the family member. It’s not the kind of painting usually associated with an accomplished portrait painter. But, like many others executed by professional painters for their pleasure and not for profit! Sir William no doubt was pleased with it as was the person to whom it was gifted. It’s not possible to put a value on such a work of art.

Also by this artist:


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