PRIESTMAN, Bertram Walter

1868 - 1951

Bertram Priestman

Born at Clifford House, Girlington Road, Bradford, Yorkshire on 30 November 1868, son of the wealthy Quaker family of Edward Priestman, a worsted spinner & manufacturer, and his wife Henrietta née Broadhead. Educated at the Friends’ School at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough and at Bootham, Yorkshire, he enjoyed painting during the holidays with his uncle Arnold Priestman (1854-1925). Priestman studied watercolour painting under Edwin Moore (1813-1893) of York 1883-1886, but after he left school began an engineering course at Bradford Technical College, but gave this up to study at the Slade School of Fine Art in London where he remained for two terms under Alphonse Legros (1837-1911). Studio assistant to Sir William Llewellyn, PRA (1858-1941) who painted occasionally at Walberswick, Suffolk. Priestman exhibited at the Liverpool Academy from 1888, at the Royal Academy from 1890 when his 'In Dock for Repairs' was shown, at the New English Art Club from 1894 and elsewhere. He married in 1896, Grace Henwood (23 July 1868-1953) and in 1901 ‘an artist’ living at 29 Beauford Street, Chelsea with his 32 year old wife and two of his four children Bryan, aged 4 and Olga, 10 months, who was educated at St Felix School, Southwold. In 1914 he purchased ‘Windy Haugh’ at Walberswick, a house designed by Frank Jennings [q.v.] and added a studio in the garden where he tutored pupils, including Edward Seago (1910-1974). After a brief period away at Wharfedale in 1919, he returned to Walberswick where he remained until 1927 and was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists 1894, New English Art Club 1896, Royal Institute of Oil Painters 1910 and an Associate of the Royal Academy on 20 April 1916, a Member on 26 June 1923 and a Senior on 1 January 1944. He made annual painting tours throughout East Anglia and could be seen chugging along in his 1908 vintage De Dion Bouton car seeking out new subjects to paint. In 1939 he and his wife Grace were living at Lionwood, Arnside, South Westmorland and he later moved to Snape Hall and then to Woodbridge, both in Suffolk and died at Crowborough, Sussex on 19 March 1951. Although not a member, at the centenary exhibition of Ipswich Art Club in 1974 the Ipswich Museum loaned an oil on panel 'The Port of Ipswich' and his paintings are also held in galleries in Bradford, Leeds, Birmingham and other towns in the U.K.

Works by This Painter