© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
The motto 'Virtute non Verbis' and crest are those of the Robinson family (see for example https://bit.ly/37Qq0oQ), and the identity of the sitter as a member of that family is supported by the monogram 'AR' below the crest. Presumably the portrait was donated because of a connection between the sitter and the hospital.
More research might identify which local Robinson family had historic connections with hospitals in the area and who painted him.
This discussion is now closed. The sitter has been identified as North Shields businessman and town councillor Alfred Robinson (1874–1931), painted by Frank Samuel Eastman (1878–1964) in 1905. Further information on the sitter is attached.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion. To anyone viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.
The collection’s forthcoming local history project, ‘The History of Healthcare in North Tyneside’, will share this portrait with a sizeable local audience on FaceBook to try to find out more about the sitter.
I wonder if we could see the highest-res version easily available of the top right and bottom left corners of the canvas? The size of the Art UK image is even smaller than usual; but when brightness & contrast are played with, I believe (or at least imagine) I can see potentially interesting marks in both areas, and one or other might just possibly be an inscription. I would certainly expect to see a signature on a portrait of this date and quality.
And since the painting was only donated in 1998, presumably the Collection must have some further information about it, if only the donor's name. It seems most surprising to me that the sitter is unknown - I mean, surely they wouldn't have accepted the gift unless there was a known connection with the hospital?
Or unless the donor was someone the hospital did not wish to refuse.
It has something of a de Laszlo feel, though I don't think it is by him--it lacks his self-conscious painterliness. Of course, there were a number of people working in that general vein.
There’s some discussion on Twitter where the sitter has been identified as Alderman Alfred Robinson https://twitter.com/northumbriana/status/1215917085987155968?s=21
Is it my imagination-or dirt on the camera lens?- but is this chap wearing Pearl Earings ??????
No, Louis, it is a spot or a blemish which needs conservation.
A pity that the Twitter discussion doesn't mention Art Detective, but perhaps the original query (https://bit.ly/2FIpoWp) originated elsewhere.
The identification looks good, though I don't think Alfred Robinson, JP (1874-1931), was an alderman - but he was a Tynemouth Town Councillor, from 1921 until his sudden death. Attached is one of several newspaper obits and tributes - as you can see he was indeed much involved with the main local hospital, the Tynemouth Victoria Jubilee Infirmary (one of North Tyneside General Hospital's predecessors).
Art UK is mentioned, Osmund, albeit as an implicitly concurrent investigator, rather than the originator of the query. For what it may be worth, I submitted the following proposal to Art Detective nearly seven months ago:
In red at upper left is a heraldic stag and the motto "Virtute non verbis," above the initials AR. Presumably this refers to the sitter. That motto and a stag are apparently associated with a family named Robinson, which matches the initials. Further discussion on Art UK may identify the sitter.
The picture should be Edwardian or certainly pre-War. Local sources should be able to determine a more or less exact date, so the question for us is who painted it. As already spotted by Osmund, there may well be a signature at upper right.
Perhaps I missed it, but I couldn't see any mention of us until I added a tweet about AD at about 18.30, then two hours later someone else added another one referring to Art UK.
Yes, certainly Edwardian or very late Victorian. Robinson was born in March 1874, so he was nearly 27 when Victoria died, and 36 when Edward VII went. His age looks to be around 30, give or take, and c.1900-5 would suit both that and the top-buttoned jacket and high imperial collar styles. It does not seem to have been exhibited at the RA, but that's not surprising given the sitter's aversion to being a public figure.
(I fear for the future of the cigarette in the portrait. 4 of the last 20 tweets by its owners, @NorthumbriaNHS, are anti-smoking messages - perhaps the fag will get edited out, rather as Brunel's cheroot and Churchill's cigar sometimes are. Or of course, since Robinson died suddenly at the age of 57, they might take the opposite tack...)
Attached is a rare (and v poor quality) press photo of him - the publication was in 1924, but it could be an earlier photo (though he has lost a lot of hair). He's still wearing an imperial collar, however, so I think I might extend the possible date range of our portrait to c.1900-10.
Alfred Robinson was manager of the Stag Line shipping company, curiously the newspaper does not mention that the company went into voluntary liquidation in 1918.
The stag in the family crest and in the company name were presumably related. Perhaps the portrait was originally in the shipping company's boardroom?
The Stag Shipping Line Company was founded by Capt. James Robinson and his brothers John and Thomas in 1817. Alfred was James’ Great grandson.
The Robinsons were a large family but the immediate line of succession with regards to Alfred was:
Capt. James Robinson
Joseph Robinson Jr
The stag device was adopted for use by the company in 1846.
It was placed on the funnels of all of their new ships. Their offices were in the Maritime Chambers of North Shields; 1 Howard Street, North Shields.
The building is currently being used as the Registry Office of North Shields.
The red stag can be seen on the gable end of the building.
Although the company did lose seven ships during world war one, they continued trading until 1981 when they were taken over by Hunting Gibson PLC. Although difficult to tell when the last Robinson left the Company.
Royal Museums Greenwich have the house flag and an example of a cap badge.
Sorry small typing error...
The Company, one generation back, based in Whitby was founded in 1817. The Stag Shipping Line under discussion here was started in 1846 by Joseph Robinson, the same year as they started using the stag as the Company logo.
Thanks for mentioning the house-flag and badge at Greenwich: that there is a shipping connection here is news to me and I didn't know about them (hardly surprising: NMM/RMG has a lot ). It will be useful to note this portrait's existence in relation to them.
With reference to the Twitter discussion I think there has been confusion between our Councillor Alfred Robinson, without a middle name, who was a JP but not an alderman (born Tynemouth in 1874, the year marked on his grave) and Alfred James Robinson who was both a JP and an alderman (born Newcastle upon Tyne in 1873). The latter was presumably the 'Ald. Alfred J. Robinson, J.P.' listed as a Vice-President of the Northumberland Orchestral Society for the season 1921-22:
As to authorship, perhaps Hubert von Herkomer? He was a prolific portraitist, whose sitters included, inter alia, many civic and legal dignitaries, and captains of industry (our man fits all three categories). Herkomer often made striking use of hands (and starched cuffs), as in our painting:
It might be worth looking through the exhibition catalogues of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters
An alternative suggestion - Harold Speed - early second decade of the last century
Speed's memorial exhibition was as late as 1959 at the RWS. Martyn Gregory staged Modern British Painters 1875-1945:Herbert Speed and his contemporaries in 1988
The problem is there were still quite a few good portrait painters at the time, unlike the subsequent situation, whereby even royal personages have been rather poorly served by the available lot, and sometimes frankly ill-served.
I'm sure Richard is right about the confusion between the two Alfred Robinsons. There is a very full history of the Stag Shipping Line in the last post on this page of a discussion on the company: https://bit.ly/2Ro4lhp. It includes an explanation of the voluntary liquidation and reformation of the company in 1918. There is also an implication that the shipping Robinsons had no 'official' right to bear the stag trippant crest adopted by them in 1846 for a ship, and later for their shipping company and themselves. This is probably correct - it belonged to a family of the same name in North Yorkshire (from where the firm's C18th founder hailed), but there is no evidence they were related.
I have been very stupid. The Stag Line/Robinson thing has been nagging at me for the last two days, and I've just remembered why. Ten years ago or so, when I briefly flirted with art dealing (before realizing that while I loved the art, I didn't enjoy doing the deals), I bought a rather nice portrait of one Constance Alice Goodes (1878-1955), daughter of a well-to-do Walthamstow cigar merchant. This I sold to a descendant of one of her four sons, and whose name is Robinson...for on 25 April 1903 Constance Goodes married our sitter Alfred Robinson of North Shields!
Constance Goodes' portrait was an early one (1903) by Frank Samuel Eastman (1878-1964), and was exhibited at the RA the same year. See https://bit.ly/35MUHK7 for his work on Art UK. Hers is clearly an engagement portrait - her ring is prominently displayed - and the reason the then unknown Eastman was chosen is that he was Constance's first cousin (his mother and her father were siblings). Our portrait sits pretty well with hers* - see the attached composite - and at 91.5 x 71.5cm for Constance they are essentially the same size. Although Eastman was a London-based artist, this and the family connection suggest that Alfred's portrait may well be by him too. The signature on her portrait is bottom left, but several of those on other early portraits by him are found top right. Moreover I believe I can see a resemblance to the shape of what I hope is the (top right) signature on ours - see attached comparison. A higher-res image should clear the matter up, one way or the other.
[*Apologies for the poor image of hers]
In 1917 Eastman also painted a memorial portrait, based on a photo, of her brother Capt George Leonard Goodes (MC & bar), who had been killed in action the previous October. See https://bit.ly/35N5nIP. [The Great War Forum members crack his identity on page 3 of the discussion - they are extremely knowledgeable about detailed WWI military matters, something worth remembering should we ever need help in that area.]
https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/237019-portrait-of-an-unknown-officer-of-the-royal-fusiliers-mc-and-bar/page/5/ This page has a Bio on Capt Goodes. Eastman could have painted that portrait. No Problem. He was quite talented. He also had a habit of letting the smokers smoke in his paintings. I can't find any of my other suspects doing that. If it were Professionally cleaned chances are a name would appear.
Here's a higher resolution version of the signature. It looks exactly like Frank Eastman to me, so well done Osmund for spotting this!
There are quite a few more Eastman portraits for comparison on Art UK https://artuk.org/discover/artists/eastman-frank-s-18781964
Our picture is analogous to this one from 1913:
I agree, though the Mayor looks quite gregarious in comparison with our sitter. If you look over Eastman's other portraits everybody looks quite relaxed with their actual personalities shining through. On top of his painting talent that Appears to be Mr Eastman's other talent. He let the sitters present themselves the way they felt most comfortable. Much Like the great photographers of today.
one should also look in the catalogues of The Modern Society of Portrait Painters - its first exhibition was in 1907
Assuming the enlarged image of the signature posted by Andrew Shore is the highest-res available to Art UK, I wonder if someone at the Collection could take a close-up digital snap of it for us? It's just possible there is a date there, slightly below and to the right of the name.
The collection expect to be able to photograph the area of the signature and the back of the picture this week.
This 1905 portrait of Godfrey Rathbone, first Baron Charnwood ( 1864 - 1945), by Frank Samuel Eastman, would appear to show the sitter in the same chair as the one in the Robinson portrait. The artist's signature is top left:
Eastman's portrait of Mrs. Alfred Robinson was exhibited in 1904 at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis:
The record of Eastman (see Wiki) looks pretty basic, though for some reason there is a good collection of what look like his student-days nude figure studies at Harvard, practically all male.
Was there any more informative obituary when he died in 1964?
Frank Samuel Eastman was born on the 27th April 1878, at Anerley, Surrey, the third son of Hugh Thomas Eastman (1843 - 1914) and Agnes Goodes (1845 - 1899). His father was an architect and land surveyor.
In July 1900, while a student at the Royal Academy School, Eastman won a two-year British Institution scholarship, valued at £50 per annum.
The 1901 UK census records that Eastman, aged 21, was living with his parents at 148, Croydon Road, Penge, and was described as an art student.
At the age of 27, with a profession described as "Artist" and from an address at Tedworth Studio, Smith Terrace, Chelsea, he was married to Edith Maud Mair, of 68, Primrose Mansions, also aged 27 and also described as an artist. The London Daily News, of Thursday 7th September 1905, carried the following marriage notice:
"Eastman - Mair: 2nd inst., at All Saints' Church, Battersea Park, by the Rev. P. D. Woods, assisted by the Rev. C. B. Grey Collier, Frank Samuel Eastman, third son of Hugh Eastman, Esq., of Mavisbank, The Avenue, Sydenham, to Edith Maud, eldest daughter of the late David Knox Mair, Esq., of Sutton Lodge, Sutton-at-Hone, Kent, and Mrs. T. E. Smith, of 63, Primrose Mansions, Battersea Park, S.W."
The couple's first child was Agnes Mary Eastman, who was born in London on the 24th August 1906. The 1911 UK Census shows the family of three living at 14, Edith Villas, West Kensington, both Frank and Edith being described as artists and painters.
In 1917, Perter Daniel Mair Eastman was born in London to the couple.
At the age of 40, on the 12th July 1918, Eastman signed up to the 94th and ended up in the 29th Battalion of the City of London Regiment. A photo of Eastman around this time is attached.
Between 1902 and 1947 Eastman was not an annual but was a regular contributor to the Royal Academy exhibitions, showing one of two portraits or paintings each time, several of the former having direct family connections.
https://chronicle250.com/index/exhibitors/e (search from Eastman)
Frank Samuel Eastman died at St. John's Hospital, Battersea, on the 12th October 1964. His home address was 63, Deodar, Road, Putney. His probate was granted on the 22nd December of that year, to Lloyds Bank, and his estate was valued at £12,037.
There are 38 works attributed to Frank Samuel Eastman on the ArtUK site:
At the time of his death in October 1964, no obituary notice appeared in any of the newspapers that are available through the British Newspaper Archive.
Thanks Kieran: the Art UK tally is a bit light on the good work he clearly could do (and the Robinsons are of the better sort, perhaps because relatively early), but as many of them seem to be 'boardroom portraits' that's perhaps unsurprising. If 1947 is roughly when he stopped he was rising 70, so perhaps lack of an obit some 17 years later is also unsurprising. Apart from clarification of Alfred R's painting date this looks like 'job done'.
The earlier work is better because standards were higher then, so in a sense they had to be better. All one has to do is look at the numerous mostly mediocre, if not worse, portraits of the Queen, who would obviously have access to the best people available. Times changed.
I've a bit more on Frank Eastman and his wife and daughter, both significant artists, which I'll post in the next day or two. And of course we're hoping to get a digital image of the signature soon - thanks, Marion - which may perhaps provide a date. So...job *almost* done, Pieter.
I would like to thank the collection for these images. The picture is very dark and the lighting does not help, but the signature is legible. I expect to be able to add images of a possible date and of the back soon.
I attach an image of the date, which appeared on close physical inspection to be '05', which I'd agree with. The second enhanced version makes the name and date clearer.
As mentioned above, 1905 was the year of Eastman's painting of Godfrey Rathbone in the same chair. It is also the year in which Eastman exhibited the following portrait at the Royal Academy:
The portrait of Robinson was not shown in 1905 or 1907, the next year that Eastman exhibited at the RA.
Here is a composite of the two above-mentioned portraits.
Yes, many thanks to the Collection for doing that so promptly (and to Marion for achieving it). That the 1905 date (no doubt in my mind) is exactly when one would expect it to be - both circumstantially and from the sitter's dress style - is very pleasing.
Well done, Kieran, for spotting the same chair in the same year. The Rathbone portrait has a very unusual shape and size, but the width is a standard British three-quarters canvas; that, and the untidy cutting-off of hand and chair arm, suggests to me that the painting has been reduced by 9 or 10 in. at the bottom.
I will post the further information on Frank Eastman and his artistic family later today - it includes evidence that he was still painting commissioned portraits as late as 1961, when he was 83.
'That's a wrap' on the portrait, but - just for incidental addition - see the attached litho of an unidentified steamer of the Stag Line: the flag looks clear enough and I would guess an 1870s-80s date.
I have a few images of Frank Eastman signatures to submit. They are from paintings we have around the house. Lt Col (Ret'd) Peter Eastman, Frank Eastman's son, was my stepfather. When he and my mother passed away, I was left with a number of paintings from both Frank and Mary Eastman and some miniatures from Maud Mair Eastman. There are also scrapbooks and letters that I would be happy to share information about. To answer the "obituary" question from the submission above, there was an obit in The Borough News, Friday, October 16th, 1964 a pic of which is also attached
Thanks for the obituary Harry, and the evidence (albeit only from signatures) that he also did drawn portrait studies. As the only apparent art dictionary notes on Eastman are those in Grant Waters's of those working in the UK, 1900-50 (which I don't have to hand), I attach a summary from what this discussion has produced. Any corrections/additions would be useful before it wraps up. I have not investigated who his two visble elderly female sitters on ArtUK are (Lilian Lindsay and Emma Hutchinson, Mrs Sedgwick) but perhaps someone would like to. Generally I don't think the public holdings show him at his best, though -as in the case of Alfred Robinson above - there are some examples which stand out from the mass of status-bolstering potboilers. The idea that there may be another 2,660-or so (according to the obit supplied) somewhere out there sounds a potentially mixed blessing, though the Mrs Robinson that Osmund produced above shows there must be other good ones among them.
I expect, Pieter, that it was simply more practical and efficient to turn out potboilers, since the market evidently did not demand better. As I have said before, the numerous portraits by numerous painters of QEII herself are a depressingly mediocre lot, and sometimes so poor that one wonders how the painter was ever commissioned.
Our picture, by the way, is certainly worth the minor conservation it would take to remove the few small blemishes.
It looks like this is Lilian Lindsay (1871-1960):
A photo of her is here and the Eastman portrait also comes up eventually on image search:
The collection page (National Trust, at Grantham House) explains Emma Hutchinson, Mrs Sedgwick (1857-1936), painted in 1935: 'The sitter's brother, James Hutchinson, was Earl Brownlow's agent, who bought Grantham House (of which she had been a tenant since 1884) in 1921, and bequeathed it to her in 1924. She left it to her spinster daughters, Winifred and Marion Sedgwick who gave it and its contents to the National Trust in 1944-50.'
Here's a pair of very fine ones by Frank Eastman dating from 1915/16, the elderly couple sitters unfortunately unidentified: https://bit.ly/2T041ra. Perhaps family members again - he really could do the business when he set his mind to it.
Pieter, I am finally pulling together the further biographical details and cuttings of interest I promised on Frank, and to a lesser extent his his wife (Edith) Maud the miniaturist, and their daughter (Agnes) Mary, also a portrait painter, which you can feed into your biog as required. Just for starters, Mary Eastman is mysteriously given the birth year of 1921 on Art UK, instead of 1906, I don't know why. She died in Banff, Scotland in 1990, aged 83. I must go to bed now, but I hope to complete things later tomorrow.
Thanks very much, Osmund. I'll amend Mary Eastman's dates to 1906–1990. Mary was 84 when she died, if the dates are correct.
Thanks Osmund: that will be useful. It continually amazes me how people in all ages assume that the identity of sitters (other than those of enduring fame in appearance) will be remembered without their names being expressly attached, or reattached, on the back or stretcher if labelled frames are changed, or visibly copied off the back if canvases are relined. If its your grandma it is obvious to you, but not to anyone else once family memory runs out and she gets sold in a house clearance.
Marion, Scotland's People says 83 (attached), so I assume she died before her 84th birthday on 24th Aug. Ah yes, I find she conveniently left an English will - her death was on 23rd Jan. See attached probate listing.
Thanks, Osmund. Mary Eastman's dates have been added, but that will take a few hours to appear on the website.
Sadly, Osmund, as time went on, Eastman no longer needed to "set his mind to it." Standards simply declined, significantly, even among the very prominent, let alone the relatively ordinary.
That 1915 portrait of a bearded old man is very fine. Nothing on Art UK by his daughter is on that level, possibly because she was not as talented, but probably (at least in part) because times changed.
First, bit more about Mary Eastman. She trained at the RA Schools January 1929 to January 1934, and while there showed two portraits at an R.A. exhibition of student work in Oct 1932. The Times art critic was more depressed than impressed by most of it, but was mildly positive about her efforts (see attached 1). Her father Frank's portrait of her was shown at the summer exhibition the same year. She herself exhibited three more portraits at Burlington House in 1942-3, and one of them, 'Land Girl', is spirited and strikingly coloured: https://bit.ly/2PmIl5Z. She exhibited from time to time at the R.A. subsequently, in '46, '53, '54 and finally 1970, but these were flower pieces plus one landscape (of Winchelsea beach). The indifferent quality of her known later portraits may be because by 1953 she was apparently doing photograph-based work through our old friends the Hans Gallery. In our previous discussion on Arthur George Mills (https://bit.ly/2PsYGpP) we looked at a double-page spread in The Sketch of ‘Coronation’ portraits (https://bit.ly/2T4FktH) – the bottom right one, of Lord Derby, is by her.
After her parents moved from Chelsea to Putney c.1935 Mary went to live for a while in West Kensington. But in 1939 she moved into a flat in the house next door to them in Deodar Road (no. 65 - ‘Swan Studios’), and remained there until the early 50s. In the 1939 Register she is an ‘Artist. Portrait & Landscape Painter’, but also an ARP Warden – possibly ‘full-time for Wandsworth Local Authority’ (the column is only visible in part – see attached 2). In 1952/3, a couple of years after her mother’s death in Dec 1950, she moved in with her father at no.63; after his death in Oct 1964 she stayed at Thames Studio for a few more years, but around 1970 moved permanently to Scotland.
Incidentally, the portrait by her (probably photo-based) of ‘Brooke-Smith’ (https://bit.ly/2Tex0Gs) is in fact of Brigadier Philip William Lilian Broke-Smith, C.I.E., D.S.O., O.B.E. (1882-1963). His Who’s Who entry is attached (3), along with two photos of him as a younger man in the R.E.(4)
Osmund, thank you for the information on Mary Eastman. The record for Brigadier Broke-Smith is updated now on Art UK: https://bit.ly/2VpEXLx
Many thanks Osmund: it all helps, as now combined below for ready reference, though I'm avoiding putting in lots of links where there is a more traditional reference. They are in the discussions, or can be re-found from the latter.
Sorry, Pieter, there was more about Mary than I expect you wanted – perhaps she could get a shorter subsidiary biog at the end of Frank’s, rather as the DNB sometimes does? And I made an error about her parents moving from *Chelsea* to Putney c.1935: Edith Villas is (as previously stated here) in West Kensington, not Chelsea – in fact it’s just 5 minutes’ walk from Mary’s address in the late 30s, Avonmore Road.
Now a few, slightly briefer things of interest about Frank’s wife (Edith) Maud (11 Feb 1878 – 28 Dec 1950). She was clearly a very successful miniaturist. She exhibited works at the R.A. in every year but four from 1902 to 1927, as ‘Maud Mair’ to 1906 and ‘Maud Eastman’ thereafter. These were often in groups of two or three up till the 1920s, singletons thereafter, 47 in total. There was a final, single work shown at the R.A. in 1945. Her sitters were largely the usual professional/military u. middle-class/minor nobility, male and female, and included her daughter Agnes Mary in 1915. She occasionally exhibited at the Royal Miniature Society & the Soc. of Women Artists, and frequently (39 works) at the commercial Walker’s Gallery in Bond St, where Frank was also a prolific exhibitor - his portrait of her was exhibited at the R.A. in 1931. A rather lovely photograph of her during her art school days is attached.
Her three 1912 R.A. exhibits were the subject of unusual and unwelcome attention – perhaps the result of someone seeking to demonstrate the poor security at Burlington House. See attached 2.
Have we established where Edith Maud Mair trained? Somone produced a ink with RA Schools dates of attendance on it, but I can't now find it (its not obvious on the current RA Schools site, which only seems to deal with the very recent)
She's here, Pieter: https://bit.ly/383AWz1
The RA have recently 'improved' their website, and as usual it's now harder for someone who thinks logically to find what they want. The key - and it's the same at the NPG, the NAL and even Art UK, I'm afraid - is to pretend you're very stupid and know nothing about art, the RA or anything else. Go to 'Art & Artists'; then if your eyes and brain can still function as the series of moving and changing whole-page images flash at you, scroll down a little way where there are some more links. Do NOT do what seems the sensible thing and click on 'Our artists' - you will disappear for ever into a series of hopeful-sounding but useless dead-ends (unless you're after a current artist). Instead empty that brain of logic again, and click on 'Search the Collection'...because, um, people are part of their collection, innit? The "Search the RA Collection" box that appears (which was actually on the 'Art & Artists' page all along, but hiding much further down) can have anything or anyone you're after entered into it: it's all accessed through there, including past students. Once you're there you can save a link that should take you straight to the search box without the other fun and games...or just use this: https://bit.ly/32B4GSJ
Thank you: nicely put. We are told its all supposed to be 'intuitive': like h..l!
Here are the Eastmans to wrap up: just an editing job. I'm not making judgements of importance (often slight) based on length, just putting all the relevant information that has been produced into an order often absent from, and sporadic in, the discussion stream, for easy reference use.
Sorry, Pieter, you'll hate me for it, but here finally is the promised extra-Frank (but that’s the end of it).
As well as the British Institution scholarship (which I don’t think has any connection with Rome), he was in 1901 awarded by the R.A. a Landseer scholarship in painting worth £40 p.a. (attached 1). The Putney house, Thames Studio, he and Maud moved into c.1935 is very nice indeed – big, Edwardian, with a perfect north light and a wonderful view across the river to the Hurlingham Club and its extensive, leafy grounds. I was lucky enough to have the same outlook from my parents’ home just down the road in the 1970s – the river-view houses are sadly now strictly mega-rich territory.
This 1928 portrait of a tennis player (attached 2) doesn’t look too appealing, inasmuch as one can see; but he was still capable of a really good portrait in 1936 if the Times critic is to be believed (attached 3). After the war, however, he must have felt the pinch (as so many did), and by 1959 he, too, had succumbed to supplying the cheap-and-cheerful, photographically-based needs of the Hans Galleries – a series of advertisements in Nov of that year give him as one of their stable (attached 4). Hans, I discover by following their ads in the Personal Column of The Times, were in business from as early as 1945 (as Hamond-Jaques-Hans Galleries), offering “A LIVING PORTRAIT IN OILS, Pastels or Miniature from that very precious photograph” (attached 5). They were still advertising in May 1968.
Frank was still turning out portraits from photos in 1961, at the age of 83 – his last appearance in the press was in Sept that year as the artist of one of Sir Archibald McIndoe, who had died five months before (attached 6). A rather sad swansong for an artist of such real talent and early promise.
As well as the RA, up to 1940 Frank exhibited odd single works at Manchester, and the Bruton and Grosvenor Galleries in London. There were also 7 at Liverpool (Walker), 2 at the RBA...and a whopping 95 at Walker’s Gallery in Bond St, This suggests that both he and his wife Maud had a formal and very fruitful relationship with them, they providing the clients and Frank and Maud the portraits.
And thank you, Marion, for the update to Brigadier Broke-Smith.
No problem: but if a B.I. Rome scholarship wasn't to go to Rome I'd be grateful for enlightenment, since its not immediately apparent via Google amid more up-to-date institutions like the British Instiute of Rome and the more archaeological British School at Rome.
It wasn't described as a Rome scholarship - attached is the original newspaper report. I admit to some confusion myself, and as you say the internet is not as helpful as you might expect. But though there are and were Rome Scholarships associated with various organisations including the RIBA, I can't find any such connected with the British Institution - or even the 'British Institute of Rome'. Actually the latter doesn't appear to be or have ever been an official or high-status body, only a fairly small private language school operating since the 1950s. The prestigious British School of Rome (always called that) has certainly long offered various scholarships, and not only in architecture - but the School was only founded in 1901, so cannot be relevant.
When the British Institution folded in 1870, its remaining funds were apparently used to set up a scholarship fund. See https://bit.ly/3ab6swA. Its current charity listing (https://bit.ly/32CgO5W) lists its governance as by a scheme dated July 1869, and varied by others of July 1889, Feb 1893 and more recently. Its objects were or are now "provision for award of scholarships, prizes, maintenance allowances or travelling allowances to students of fine arts, not normally over 25 years of age".
Sorry, forgot the attachment.
Thanks: all clear, but 'Rome' is somewhere above or I wouldn't have included it -and it can now come out. Nice coincidence that Eastman got his BI grant for 'painting' alongside E.H. Shepard, ditto, - though that's not how the latter's best remembered! Hardly surprising that Art UK has just one canvas by him, probably not much later:
Davis, the third that year (who I've never encountered), looks as though he stayed more on the rails, probably mainly in Nottingham by the look of it: https://www.artuk.org/discover/artworks/view_as/grid/search/makers:noel-denholm-davis-18761950/page/2
For what it's worth, I just found (and reported) another "lost" Eastman, whose signature was misread as Eastham. However, it's from 1954 and certainly not on this level:
Thanks Jacinto: well spotted. That puts his total on Art UK up to 39 and the men to 34. I've adjusted accordingly and the draft as updated since 28 February above is attached
As 'acting' group leader for 20th century portraits at the moment this also prompts me to recommend it winds up, with many thanks to everyone who has contributed. I agree with Osmund's later comment of 28 Feb that for someone who showed early promise Eastman didn't end up as a latter-day Hogarth but there are some good things amid the general run, including the one we have now managed to re-identify above as Alfred Robinson of North Shields, 1874–1931. I also attach 'label-type' information on him for the collection record.