Photo credit: Royal Academy of Music
I think the artist is probably Walter Maynard Rushworth, an organ maker (part of the Liverpool firm Rushworth & Dreaper). He was born in 1870, died in 1945. He had a son called Walter Maynard Rushworth too. These dates are from records on Ancestry. There's some more on the Rushworth family here https://bit.ly/2UE1PZG.
The Collection has commented: ‘Walter Maynard Rushworth's dates and location do indeed coincide with the dates of the painting. There is a frame-maker's label on rear: R. Jackson & Sons, Picture Framers, 18a Slater Street, Liverpool. His involvement in music and fine arts in Liverpool also make it very possible that he is the artist. He was apparently well-known as a patron of the arts in the area, though we haven't found anything about him as an artist. If anyone is able to add to this story, that would be wonderful. We also have a viola in our collection made by Rushworth and Dreaper, object no: 2012.501 It was a gift, but our records don't tell me if the two acquisitions are related.’
Alistair Brown, Art UK, has added: ‘The Ancestry record for Walter Maynard Rushworth is attached and there is an ArtBiogs record which has 1870-1945 https://bit.ly/3k10R4a. I have been unable to find any comparative examples online.
I did some research on members of the Rushworth family about six years ago, as my grandmother worked for a branch of the family in Liverpool in the first years of 20th century; she retained some social connections with them and those who moved across the Mersey to Wallasey (where they had the musical instrument shop and sheet-music printing business). Our family still has the Rushworth & Dreaper piano acquired from them.
There was a PhD fellowship set up at Liverpool University about five years ago to research the company and its impact on musical activities in the city - that research should be available by now?
Cherry Ann Knott
9 July 2021
Walter Maynard Rushworth was an organist and sometime cellist. Organist and choirmaster, Holy Innocent’s Church, Myrtle Street, Liverpool in 1896. Joined the Freemasons in 1909. Long standing involvement with the Royal College of Music.
The PhD thesis referred to by Cherry Ann Knott is:
'The Rushworths of Liverpool: A Family Music Business.
Commerce, Culture and the City.
Nicholas David Wong
NDW refers to a 'Rushworth Art Gallery', the family saw visual art and a cafe as a way of drawing in more customers to the shop.
There is little detail about WMR or any other family members, but NDW does refer to a 1942 history of the business written by WMR and still held by the family.
I have found a reference to a watercolour by W Maynard Rushworth, of Durham Cathedral, dated 1904, sold at Christie's on 13th May 1991.
The large ancient parish church of All Saints in Childwall is the oldest surviving parish church in the Liverpool conurbation. Although the centre still retains its old rural village character the view across Childwall valley, seen in this watercolour is now covered by 1930s semi & detached houses and post WWII housing estates. One of Liverpool's busiest roundabouts, Childwall Fiveways, was laid out in 1935, which probably provides a date before which the watercolour was painted.
For old photos of Childwall see https://www.google.com/search?q=Old+pictures+of+Childwall&client=firefox-b-d&sa=X&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=bQqYqpQNv6XfCM%2CV_epkE300CVitM%2C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kTdjTtcajwSVQWH40V5DGQPhC_vpw&ved=2ahUKEwiqt7ea4YHyAhWUo3EKHUddCHwQ9QF6BAgNEAE&biw=1332&bih=581#imgrc=bQqYqpQNv6XfCM
The attached obituary for Walter Maynard Rushworth, from the Liverpool Echo, of Wednesday 21st March 1945, might answer the question.