WIRTH-MILLER, Dennis

1915 - 2010

Dennis Worth-Miller

As Denis Wurtmüller, he was born at Folkestone, Kent on 27 November 1915, son of German born Johann Wurtmüller (1878-1988), a hotelier, and his wife a Miss Ames, who married at Alnwick, Northumberland in 1909. Their surname was anglicised to Wirth-Miller as a result of hostility to the family experienced from local people on the South Coast during the early years of the Great War. After school Dennis joined Tootal Broadhurst Lee, the textile manufacturers in Manchester, where his innate talent prompted his appointment as a designer. After arriving in London early in 1937 he met illustrator Richard 'Dickie' Wasey Chopping (1917-2008), who moved into Dennis's studio in North London, once that of painter Walter Sickert. Thus began a lifelong relationship and in December 2005 they became the first in Colchester to make a civil partnership. They met painters Cedric Morris [q.v.] and Arthur Lett-Haines [q.v.], who had established the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, first at Dedham and, when that was destroyed by fire, at Benton End, Hadleigh, Suffolk. In 1939 a commercial artist living at Daffodil Cottage, Church Road, Lexden, Colchester and exhibited at the Ipswich Art Club in 1942, a 'Landscape in Oils' and after the war years his work was in oil on a large scale. His early works were portraits, figures and still life and a series of very large dog paintings–hounds on the move, mastiffs, great danes in motion in the act of turning or hunting or disappearing into the mist. His later works were East Anglian or Dartmoor landscapes. He latterly lived at Store House, The Quay, Wivenhoe, Essex where he died on 27 October 2010.





Works by This Painter