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Telephone: 0131 226 6932 or 0845 388 5879
46 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3NH, Scotland (TSOH)

Biography and current catalogue for

Henry Wright Kerr RSA RSW (1857 - 1936) 

Born and died in Edinburgh, a Scots painter in oil and watercolour of portraits and figurative subjects, best known for his portraits of characterful elderly gentlemen. A truly prolific artist, and a sympathetic recorder of Scottish character and the Scottish scene. His early education was in Dundee, apprenticed to a manufacturer, after which he took up an appointment in Leith to enable him to attend classes at The Board of Manufacturers and Life School of the RSA. His first watercolour landscape was exhibited in 1882 at the RSA. As well as Scotland, he also worked in Holland, where he came under the influence of the Hague School. Kerr later visited Ireland, where his sympathetic portrayal of local character led to his being hailed as a successor to Erskine Nicol. He was a successful book illustrator, his best known works being for Dean Ramsay’s "Scottish Life and Character," Mitford’s
"Annals of the Parish", G A Birmingham’s "The Lighter Side of Irish Life" and Galt’s "The Last of the Lairds".

Kerr’s portrait work is represented in public collections across Scotland. In his later life, he exhibited from 18 York Place, Edinburgh. He died there on 18th February 1936, aged 78.

In 1923-24 he acted as Deputy President of the RSA, Elected RSW 1891, ARSA 1893, RSA 1909. Exhibited RA (8), RSA (159), RSW (70), GI (26), AAS, RI (1) & L (1) and represented in NGS, SNPG (60), Dundee AG, Glasgow AG, Kirkcaldy AG, City of Edinburgh Collection
(with acknowledgements to the Late Dr Peter McEwan)