WILSON, David

1873 - 1935

David Wilson

Born at Minterburn, County Tyrone on 4 July 1873, his father, a minister, took up a post at Malone Presbyterian Church, Belfast where Wilson grew up. Educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and on leaving school, worked for the Northern Bank, taking evening classes at the Government School of Art and joined the Belfast Art Society. During the 1890's he met Alfred S. Moore (1871-1961), aka 'Nomad' contributing to his satirical magazine 'Nomad's Weekly' and his first cartoon was published in the 'Daily Chronicle' in 1895 and in 1899 he began contributing a regular full-page caricature to another Belfast weekly 'The Magpie'. In 1890 he had married Edith Mary Mageean and they moved to London where Wilson studied at the Sphinx Studio. They had two children James [Jimmy], in 1900 and Edith [Peggy] in 1908, and in 1911 they were living at 22 Downton Avenue, Streatham Hill, Wandsworth, London, but his wife Edith became an alcoholic and she died in 1913, and Wilson married again soon after. He contributed 55 cartoons to 'Punch' between 1900 and 1933, his work taking on influences from Japanese prints and German Jugendstil/Art Nouvou illustration. From 1910 to 1916 he was chief cartoonist for 'The Graphic', and from 1912 his cartoons appeared regularly in the 'Daily Chronicle' also contributing to 'Nomad's Weekly', 'Fun', 'London Opinion', 'The Sketch', 'The Star', 'Temple Magazine', 'Life' and 'Tatler' and his work continued to appear in publications like 'The Passing Show', 'The World' and 'Pan' until 1920. From the 1920's his reputation as a painter developed, concentrating on landscapes and flowers, mainly in watercolour. He became an associate of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1924 and elected a full member of the RBA in 1926 the year that he exhibited 'The Skeleton Pier, Walberswick', a Suffolk village where he spent a considerable time until his death, also exhibiting at the Royal Academy 'Blythburgh, Suffolk' and 'Southwold from Walberswick' in 1932. He was also member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours from 1931, the Savage Club, and the Newspaper Press Fund and taught at St John's Wood School of Art from his South London home. Books he illustrated include Arthur Waghorne's 'Through a Peer Glass: Winnie's Adventures in Wastemonster' (1908), 'A Song of the Open Road and othe verses' by Louis J. McQuilland (1916), and 'Wilhelm the Ruthless' by A. A. Braun (1917) and he illustrated propaganda posters for the government during the First World War. He died in London on 2 January 1935.








Works by This Painter