Completed Portraits: British 20th C, South East England: Artists and Subjects 11 Did Faversham artist Fred Woodington paint this portrait of 'Florence Emily Graham, Mayor'?

Topic: Artist

It has been suggested that the portrait of the first female Mayor of Faversham, Florence Emily Graham, is by a Faversham artist, Fred Woodington. Can anyone throw any further light on the matter?

There is possibly a very faint signature on the lower-right of this painting but it cannot be made out.

Faversham Town Council, Mayor's Parlour and Guildhall, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

Jade Audrey King,

The artist and execution date of this work have been amended to:

Frederick Christopher Woodington (1904–1982)
Date painted: 1960

These changes will appear on the Your Paintings website by the end of November 2014. Thank you to all for participating in this discussion. To those viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all comments that led to this conclusion.


Jade Audrey King,

The website ( indicates Fred Woodington to be the brother of Walter Percy Woodington (1916–2000). It also indicates Fred Woodington was a member of the Faversham Art Society.

Incidentally, Walter Woodington has works in public collections (and so is featured on Your Paintings: PCF would write to the copyright holder of Walter Woodington's works to enquire about this portrait, but unfortunately our copyright team have not yet been able to trace the copyright holder of Walter Woodington's works: the search is ongoing.

Osmund Bullock,

The signature may be hard to interpret, but it doesn't look that faint. However, even on Your Paintings the resolution is not high enough to make even a stab at it.

There is next to nothing on Fred Woodington that I can find online, except in the context of his artist brother Walter Percy Woodington (who was a portraitist). I would be surprised that someone so obviously technically skilled had left so little record of their artistic existence. Florence Graham was Mayor 1956-7, so I imagine the portrait dates from then.

I cannot at the moment even find the right Fred Woodington in genealogical terms, though a more careful search may pin him down (no time just now).

It really would - or could - be helpful if we can get a high-ish resolution image of that signature. Some people here are very good at interpreting them, something that is easier when you have a bank of possible artists in your subconscious.

Tim Williams,

Their father was also called Frederick. Either the father or Fred has the initial W as a middle name as Walter exhibited a portrait of F.W.Woodington at the RA in 1945. Walter was a curator of the RA schools for many years.

Have nothing on Fred - you'd have to contact Faversham Art Society to see if they have anything. Like Osmund, I'm surprised someone this skilled has no legacy. High res of the sig. should clear things up.

Osmund Bullock,

Right, found him - thanks for the clue, Tim.

Frederick Christopher Woodington, born East Ham Nov 1904, died Faversham, Kent, late 1982. He and his much younger brother Walter Percy (1916-2000) were the sons of Frederick William Woodington (1879-1951), a South London butcher (whose brothers and father before him were butchers, too).

Fred junr moved to Faversham from Battersea in the early 1950s. Between 1962 & 1976 he describes himself in his telephone directory listing as 'artist'. Other than that (and what we already know), there is no mention of him as an artist, let alone a portraitist, anywhere. I've also drawn a complete blank in online newspaper archives - not unexpected as the BNA has little post-1940s coverage, and none for Kent papers after 1950.

Walter's c1945 portrait of his father, F.W. Woodington, is quite probably this one, sold at a Canterbury auction earlier this year (Lot 304):

If this is the work of the better-known brother, it seems all but inconceivable that Fred would have been capable of the portrait under discussion.

Sorry, Faversham, but I think it's the wrong man. So we really do need that high-res of the signature now.

Osmund Bullock,

Thank you, Faversham, for that. I'm glad I didn't write, "I'll eat my hat..." - I only changed it from "inconceivable" to "all but inconceivable" at the last minute! I am surprised and suitably chastened. I'm also a little sad that Fred's talent languished largely unrecognized: "Full many a bloom is born to blush unseen..."

To which I might add, while looking in the mirror, a further couplet from the same poem:

"Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise."

And I should probably stick to genealogy in future.

I am happy to confirm that the signature and Osmund Bullock's genealogical researches have confirmed that the artist is Frederick Christopher Woodington (1904-82) and that it is dated 1960.