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St. Ives Paintings in their Infancy - Allan Storer

An Early History of the St. Ives Paintings School.


In 1877 the Great Western Railway  opens up the way for the hitherto unexplored St. Ives as a hub of artists to recharge their creative energy and talents, exploring new challenges with the St. Ives Paintings genre in the amazing light and fresh sea air blowing in from the Atlantic far off in the Cornish fishing village on the edge of Britain's south west coastline.


St. Ives Paintings, Allan Storer
Choppy Seas, St. Ives

​Oxford Vicar's son, wielding his paintbrush in his left hand (he injured his right in a shotgun accident), Algernon Talmage joins, painting his mellow palettes in 'The Cabin'  on Westcotts Quay,  Add Thomas Millie Dow ​and Lowell Dyer ​to the mix and The St. Ives School of Painting​ is becoming reality. 

​Olsson is a natural! A self taught artist, his paintings are accepted at the Royal Academy in 1890, and he join​s the New English Art Club in 1891.​ Alongside  Louis Grier and later Algernon Talmey​ they teach such greats as​ Borlase Smart and many others.


​Olsson doesn't let the grass grow under his feet, leaves his wife and In ​1912 is off, back to the smoke,  ie. London. He joins the Navy in WW1, paints lots of battleships, marries Edith whose Dad is an Irish horse breeder, and in 1920 is elected a full member of the​ RA. In 1942 he gets bombed out of his London studio and presumably lives happily ever after!


​But the American​s are coming ! They too want to have a bite of the St. Ives Paintings cherry. Impressionist painters Edward Emerson Simmons and Howard Russell Butler  arrive in St Ives in 1886, Butler​ goes back after two years ] but Simmons and his wife, artist Vesta Simmons,​ carry on painting until 1891.​ American painters Sydney Laurence and Alexandrina Dupre honeymoon in St Ives in Summer 1889,​ and stay for fifteen years.​  Canadian painter Emily Carr ​studies under Olsson and Talmage​, Americans Walter Elmer Schofield and his wife ​are here from 1903 to 1907,​encouraging fellow American painters George Oberteuffer, Frank Shill and Frederick Judd Waugh​ to join them.


There are artists from Sweden too,  Anders Born painted in St Ives, 1887–88, ​ wins a Gold Medal with "Fish Market St. Ives" ​in the Paris Salon Hayley Lever ​comes to St Ives in 1900, marri​es a local woman, Aida Gale, in 1905, and​ until 1914 ​paints his bit,  before going back to the US.presumably with his local bride. Who knows?  There's an Australian too, E. Phillips Fox ​who nobles his local bride artist Ethel Carrick,​ in 1903. 

​Then comes WW1 and a completely new story of revolution and modernity Paintings !


To be cont.


Allan Storer.

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