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George Spencer Watson (British artist) 1869 - 1934

Watson studied at the Royal Academy Schools from 1889, and exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1891. He won Royal Academy Schools Silver Medals in 1889 and 1891, and the Landseer Scholarship in 1892. He was elected to the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI) in 1900, Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) in 1904, Associate of the Royal Academy in 1923, and a Member of the Royal Academy (RA) in 1932. He married Hilda, a dancer and mime artist, and follower of the actor Edward Gordon Craig. They had a daughter, Mary Spencer Watson (1913–2006), who became a sculptor. In 1923 he bought Dunshay Manor in the hills of the Isle of Purbeck, after already have spent holidays in Swanage. He died in London and a memorial exhibition was held at the Fine Art Society in the same year. There is a memorial to him in the north vestibule of St James's Church, Piccadilly, London. Throughout the twenties, Spencer Watson's portraits continued to refer to earlier styles, and with female sitters he eschewed for the most part, the modernity of bobbed hair, cloche hats and short hemlines, favoured by Gerald Kelly and others. Jazz Age frivolity was not for him.


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