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Home Early Northants Artists Other Artists Exhibitions Contact Us Sir Alfred East - The Valley of the Somme Nina Carroll - Eastbourne Pier (1978) Nina Carroll - West Pier, Brighton (1978)

Nina Carroll


Nina Carroll (1932-1990) was a designer of murals, an illustrator of children’s books and a watercolour artist. She studied at Cheltenham School of Art and at the Ruskin School, Oxford. She lived in Kettering and later in Oxford. Her husband, John Steane, was headmaster of Kettering Grammar School in 1964 to 1976. Both Nina and her husband were founder members of the Kettering Civic Society, and John became their first Secretary. She exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of Watercolour Painters, the Society of Women Artists and the New England Art Club. Her works are in the collection of the Guildhall Museum, Northampton and the Alfred East Art Gallery in Kettering, amongst others.

Nina Carroll - American Embassy

The American Embassy, London

Eastbourne Pier (1978)

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Frank B. Jowett - Cottages by a Stream

Frank B. Jowett


Frank B. Jowett (1879-1943) was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire, the son of J.C. Jowett, boot manufacturer of Regent Works. He became the Managing Director of the Carrington Shoe Company and a Chairman of the Rotary International Art Group. For several years he was Chairman of the Kettering and District Art Society. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists, the Royal Society of Watercolour Painters and the Royal Institute of Painters of Watercolours. He was also a talented etcher. The Alfred East Art Gallery in Kettering has nine works by him in its permanent collection. In 1915 he was recorded as living at 9 Tennyson Road, Kettering.

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Sir Alfred East


Sir Alfred East (1844-1913) is one of the most significant figures in English landscape painting in the decades before the First World War. His landscapes caught the mood of times in which there was a growing concern at the rapidity of social change and its impact upon the countryside. He was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire, and worked in his brother’s boot and shoe factory as a ‘clicker’ before becoming a sales representative for the company in Glasgow. There he attended evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art. In his late thirties he decided to become a professional artist and in 1882 went to study at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he was much influenced by the Barbizon School of landscape artists. Around 1884 he and his family moved from Glasgow to North London where they lived until his death. In 1888 he was commissioned to spend six months in Japan by the Fine Art Society. He arrived in Nagasaki in March 1889 and became the first English artist to make Japan the field of an extensive and detailed study in paint. In March 1890, 104 of his paintings of Japanese landscapes and people were exhibited at the Fine Art Society in London. East continued to travel widely and painted regularly in France, Italy, Spain and North Africa. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1899, having been a regular exhibitor since 1883. In 1906 he was elected President of the Royal Society of British Artists, a position he held until his death. In 1910 he received a knighthood, and a banquet was held in his honour in his native town of Kettering. The Alfred East Gallery, designed by J. A. Gotch, was opened in Kettering on 31 July 1913 by Lord Spencer. East died two months later, but not before he had been elected to full membership of the Royal Academy. A national newspaper commented that it was a ‘fitting end to a brilliant career’.

Sir Alfred East - Clifford’s Inn, London Sir Alfred East - The Miller's Meadow Sir Alfred East - St. Ives, Cornwall

The Valley of the Somme

The Miller's Meadow

St. Ives, Cornwall

Clifford’s Inn, London

Thomas Cooper Gotch


Thomas Cooper Gotch RBA, RI (1854-1931) was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire. He was a painter of portraits, landscape and allegorical and realistic genre. He studied at Heatherley’s Art School (1876), the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Antwerp (1877), the Slade School (1878), and with Jean Paul Laurens in Paris (1880). He exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1880-1931, showing 70 paintings in total. He was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists in 1885 and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in 1912. He was a founder member of the New English Art Club (1886) and served as President of the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists in 1913-28. He moved to Cornwall in 1887 and is considered one of the founding members of the Newlyn School of artists along with Stanhope Forbes and Walter Langley.

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Ralph Hartley


Ralph Hartley (1926-1988) was a Kettering artist who flourished in the 1960s. He was awarded a Silver Medal at the Paris Salon of 1966. He also exhibited at the Royal Academy, New English Art Club, Royal Society of British Artists and Industrial Painters Group. His work is included in the permanent collection of Northampton Art Gallery and the Alfred East Art Gallery in Kettering.


In 1967 Sir David Scott of Boughton House wrote of Mr Hartley’s work: ‘It is the work of an Englishman and a countryman, and a Midlander at that. His trees are unmistak-ably those of the Midland countryside – ash, sycamore, oak, willow, elm. In his landscapes you can hear the birds sing, the leaves and branches rustle, you can see the cloud shadows slide across the undulating grass and ploughlands of Northamptonshire… Above all, his skies are English, matching the season of the year, whether grey and watery or blue and cloud-flecked… There is a vigour and obvious delight in the act of painting which gives his work a special vitality: his pictures are alive, and any possessor of them will find that they wear well, for they have hidden reserves.’

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G. H. B. Holland


George Herbert Buckingham Holland (1901-1987) was born in Northampton. He was educated at Northampton Grammar School and trained as an artist at Northampton School of Art and Leicester College of Art (1918-23). In 1923 he opened a studio at Whitworth Chambers, George Row, Northampton. He lived in London for a while before returning in 1939 to Northampton, where he resided for the rest of his life.


He was primarily a portrait painter (three of his works are in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery) but he also painted landscapes and still life. A retrospective exhibition of his work was held in 1997 at the Central Museum and Art Gallery, Northampton, to mark the 10th anniversary of his death.

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Thurston Laidlaw Shoosmith


Thurston Laidlaw Shoosmith (1865-1933) was born in Northampton. He was educated at Northampton Grammar School before joining the firm of solicitors which his father had established in the town (still practising as Shoosmiths). He became a partner in the firm in 1897. While he was not a professional artist – in the sense that he did not need to sell his paintings to make a living – he was nonetheless a leading figure in the artistic life of Northampton. He became the first President of the Town and Country Art Society. He retired from legal practice in 1925 to devote more time to painting.

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La Belle Dame Sans Merci (Keats)

Walter Bonner Gash


Walter Bonner Gash (1869-1928) was a painter of portraits, figures and landscapes. He was born in Lincoln and studied at Lincoln School of Art and Antwerp Academy. He became Assistant Art Master at Lincoln School of Art and for about seven years the Art Master at the Wellingborough Technical School. In 1907 he was appointed Art Master at Kettering Grammar School in Northamptonshire. He had a studio at the Victoria Hall, Kettering. He was also well known in Nottingham, where he resided at one time and acted as a judge on the Hanging Committee of the Castle Art Gallery. He exhibited at the Royal Academy (8) from 1896 including Studying the New Woman and Selling Flowers; at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2); and at Nottingham Museum and Art Gallery (39). The Alfred East Art Gallery in Kettering has ten pictures by him in its permanent collection.

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The Old Watermill, Mevagissey, Cornwall

Cottages by a Stream

Early Northants Artists

Haymaking by the River Nene

Watering the Flowerbed

Hubert Coop


Hubert Coop (1872-1953) was born in Olney, Buckinghamshire, the son of the Revd Thomas Coop. He was educated at Wolverhampton and Birmingham, and after a short period in business, went to study at the Lincoln School of Art where he obtained a First Class Degree in Design. He moved to North Wales to take up painting as a profession, concentrating on painting river estuary and coastal scenes from nature. By 1913 he had moved to Lowestoft, Suffolk, where he continued to paint coastal scenes and windmills around Southwold and up the coast into the Norfolk Broads. He then resided in St Ives, Huntingdonshire, for a short period before taking up residence in Kettering, Northamptonshire. His 1918 entry to the Royal Academy has an address in Newland Street, Kettering. In the late 1920s he moved to Bideford, Devon, where he remained for the rest of his life. The Burton Art Gallery & Museum in Bideford has a selection of his watercolours and oil paintings on permanent display. His paintings can often be seen at the Alfred East Art Gallery in Kettering.


Coop was elected a member of the Royal Society of British Artists in London in 1895, aged 22, and subsequently exhibited 24 works there. He also exhibited at the Royal Academy (20); the Royal Society of Artists, Birmingham (20); and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (39).

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Fred Jay Girling


Fred Jay Girling (1900-1982), a naval architect, was born in Leicestershire and lived in Wellingborough and Kettering, Northamptonshire. Following the death of his father at Gallipoli during the First World War, the family moved to Belfast where Fred trained in naval architecture with Harland & Wolff. In 1929 he moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to work as a naval architect for the government. He was later posted in Leith as Chief Ship Surveyor for the East Coast of Scotland. He retired in 1965 and was awarded an OBE. In his later years he returned to live in Northamptonshire, in Mears Ashby. He was a self-taught artist and painted mostly watercolours of ships and churches.

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A Fishing Trawler

Boarstall Tower, Buckinghamshire

The Pillar, Charney Bassett, Oxfordshire

Hubert Coop - Watering the Flowerbed Fred Jay Girling - A Fishing Trawler Fred Jay Girling - Darrynane, County Kerry, Ireland Fred Jay Girling - The Inny River, County Kerry, Ireland

Darrynane, County Kerry, Ireland

The Inny River, County Kerry, Ireland

Ralph Hartley - Near the Priory, Lewes, East Sussex

Near the Priory, Lewes, East Sussex

John Trivett Nettleship


John Trivett Nettleship (1841-1902) was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire, the second son of Henry John Nettleship, a solicitor in the local firm of Lamb and Stringer. HeJohn was educated at Durham school, and after devoting a brief period of his life to the Law, studied painting at Heatherley’s and at the Slade School in London. According to Sir Alfred East, when Nettleship ‘seriously began art work it was soon apparent that his most marked talent was as a delineator of animals, especially savage wild animals, and he soon began, and continued for many years, to work at the Zoological Gardens [London Zoo], where he made the studies for the greater number of his paintings.’ He became widely known as a painter of animals and exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, the Grosvenor Gallery and the New Gallery. He married the daughter of James Hinton, aural surgeon, in 1876. Their eldest daughter Ida married the painter Augustus John. Nettleship died in 1902, at his residence in Wigmore Street, London, aged 61.

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John Trivett Nettleship - An American Black Bear

An American Black Bear

(Ursus americanus)

West Pier, Brighton (1978)

Thomas Cooper Gotch - La Belle Dame Sans Merci (Keats) Frank B. Jowett - The Old Watermill, Mevagissey, Cornwall

Peter Newcombe


Peter Newcombe (1943- ) was born at Blisworth in Northamptonshire. He studied illustration and etching at Northampton School of Art, where he won a travelling scholarship. His work first came to public attention in 1968 with a set of twelve large drawings illustrating ‘The Shepherds Calendar’ by John Clare, which were featured on BBC television. In 1970 he was awarded a major art grant from the Elizabeth T. Greenshield Foundation in Canada. At this time he began exhibiting widely in London including at the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists, and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour. In 1979 he designed a set of flower stamps for the Post Office.

The subject matter of Peter Newcombe’s paintings is gathered almost entirely from the area of Northamptonshire in which he lives. His paintings are intense studies of landscape and flora in all seasons, and he has a particular interest in old buildings and wild flowers.

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Nina Carroll - The Pillar, Charney Bassett, Oxfordshire Sir Alfred East - View from the Bungalow, Rivington, Lancashire

View from the Bungalow, Rivington, Lancashire

Thurston Laidlaw Shoosmith - On the River Bank

On the River Bank

Blisworth Evening Light, Northamptonshire

G. H. B. Holland - Resting the Horse

Resting the Horse

Matthew H. Holding


Matthew Henry Holding ARIBA (1847-1910) was a Northampton architect. He was articled to Charles Buckeridge, and by 1878 had set up his own architectural practice at 1 Market Square, Northampton. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects on 23 May 1881. By 1891 he had moved his practice to the Corn Exchange in Northampton. He was responsible for the west bays added to the Guildhall in Northampton in 1889-92, in a 13th-century Gothic style matching that of E.W. Godwin’s east bays of 1861-4. He designed several new churches in Northampton, including: St Mary, Towcester Road, Far Cotton (1884-5); St Paul’s, Semilong Road (1887-91); St Matthew, Kettering Road (1891-4); Christ Church, Wellingborough Road (1903-6); and Holy Trinity, Balmoral Road (1909). He was involved in restoration and rebuilding works at a number of medieval churches in Northamptonshire, including St Mary the Virgin, Gayton (1883); St John the Baptist, Hellidon (1897); and All Saints, Harpole (1905).

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Matthew H. Holding - Church of St Nicholas, Marston Trussell, Northamptonshire - North Elevation Matthew H. Holding - Church of St Nicholas, Marston Trussell, Northamptonshire - South Elevation Matthew H. Holding - Church of St Nicholas, Marston Trussell, Northamptonshire - West Elevation & East Elevation

West Elevation & East Elevation

North Elevation

South Elevation

Church of St Nicholas, Marston Trussell, Northamptonshire

Thomas Osborne-Robinson


Thomas Osborne-Robinson OBE (1904-1976) was a scenic designer at the Royal Theatre, Northampton. He trained at Northampton School of Art alongside G.H.B. Holland. He got the job of scenic designer at the Royal Theatre in the 1920s through the auspices of W.J. Bassett-Lowke, whose house at 78 Derngate in Northampton was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Bassett-Lowke was one of the inaugural members of the Repertory Theatre board. After his death, his widow gave Osborne-Robinson one of the Mackintosh clocks from No. 78. Osborne-Robinson lived on Derngate, a few doors up from No. 78, and was instrumental in getting it listed in 1965. He was a moving force in building up the Italian collection at the Central Museum in Northampton, and recorded Northampton’s buildings and history in his paintings. He was awarded an OBE for his services to theatre.

Edward Stamp


Edward Stamp RI (1939-  ) is a landscape artist. Born in London, he was evacuated during the Second World War to a small farm in Dunton, Buckinghamshire, which was to have a significant impact on his later work as a landscape painter. He studied at Northampton School of Art, gaining the National Diploma of Design in 1961. He worked as a freelance book illustrator and as an illustrator with Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, but the lure of the countryside was too great and he left London to work on the land. Whilst employed as a tractor driver, he painted and sketched the land he worked, combining the life of farming with that of an artist until 1970. The success of his first London exhibition in 1973 led to full-time occupation as an artist, and his work has been shown regularly at the Royal Academy since 1975. In 1980 he was awarded the Bronze Medal for the most outstanding watercolour by a non-member in the annual exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, and he was subsequently elected a member in the same year. In 1981 his wood engravings merited his election as a member of the Royal Institute of Painter Etchers and Engravers. A full set of 22 engravings, illustrating John Clare’s Summer Poems, were acquired by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

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Tinkers, County Wicklow, Ireland

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Edward Stamp - March near Lillingstone Lovell, Buckinghamshire Edward Stamp - Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire Edward Stamp - Road to Gayton, Northamptonshire

March near Lillingstone Lovell, Buckinghamshire

Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire

Road to Gayton, Northamptonshire

Thomas Osborne-Robinson - Tinkers, County Wicklow, Ireland Ralph Hartley – St Mary’s Church, Rushden, Northamptonshire

St Mary’s Church, Rushden, Northamptonshire

Thomas Cooper Gotch - Bearded Man with Headband

Bearded Man with Headband

William T. Wright


William T. Wright (1851-1917) was born in Rothwell, Northamptonshire.  He was the nephew of the renowned painter Sir Alfred East. In 1881 Wright is recorded as living with his grandfather, Benjamin East, at 20 Lower Street, Kettering. He was a founding member of the Kettering and District Art Society, as well as its first Chairman. He was the first curator of the Alfred East Art Gallery, from 1913 until his death in 1917. The Gallery’s collection of around 45 watercolours by him forms a valuable record of the character of Kettering during the late 19th and early 20th century.

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William T. Wright - Cranford Lodge, Northamptonshire

Cranford Lodge, Northamptonshire

Cardiff City Hall

Frank B. Jowett - Ducks by a Stream Frank B. Jowett - ‘Learning to Fish’

‘Learning to Fish’

Ducks by a Stream

Sir Alfred East - Landscape with Fisherman

Landscape with Fisherman

Sir Alfred East - Lago Maggiore from Stresa, Italy

Lago Maggiore from Stresa, Italy

Nina Carroll - Boarstall Tower, Buckinghamshire

Gates of Manfield Hospital, Northampton

Sir Alfred East - Near Rivington, Lancashire

Near Rivington, Lancashire

Walter Bonner Gash - Landscape with cottages

Landscape with cottages viewed from across a meadow

G. H. B. Holland - Cardiff City Hall Peter Newcombe - Blisworth Evening Light, Northamptonshire Nina Carroll - Gates of Manfield Hospital, Northampton

Ravenstone, near Olney, Buckinghamshire

Hubert Coop - The Shepherd Girl

The Shepherd Girl

Frank B. Jowett - Haymaking by the River Nene Peter Newcombe - Weedon, Northamptonshire

Weedon, Northamptonshire

Henry Bird


Henry Arthur Richard Bird (1909-2000) was an artist and teacher, best known for his mural paintings in Northamptonshire. He was born in a Northampton slum and worked his way through Northampton School of Art, before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London. In 1936 he became a lecturer in art history at the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth for 5 years. This was followed by a period in London as head scene painter at the Old Vic and Sadler’s Wells, and as resident designer at the Embassy Theatre. In 1950 he returned to Northampton with his wife, the actress Freda Jackson, to take up a teaching post at Northampton School of Art. He was a strict taskmaster and his drawing classes became legendary. He painted a number of substantial mural scenes in Northamptonshire: at the Guildhall in Northampton (1949), in the chapel of St Crispin’s Hospital at Duston, at Danetre Hospital in Daventry, and at Denton Church (1974). A major mural was his fire curtain for the Royal Theatre in Northampton, unveiled in 1978, which included portraits of his wife and the actor Errol Flynn. He had a studio in an attic above the Northampton and County Club, where he concentrated mainly on life drawing from the nude. National acknowledgement came in 1983 when he was granted a Civil List pension for services to art. ‘There are few better examples of local-artist-made-good than Henry Bird’, claimed his obituary in the Independent, and there were fulsome obituaries in The Times and the Guardian.

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Henry Bird - Sketching near Norwich

‘Sketching near Norwich’

George Clarke


George Clarke (1790-1868) was an amateur artist who was born at Hanging Houghton, Northamptonshire in 1790. His father was schoolmaster at Hanging Houghton, and George became schoolmaster at Lamport in 1818. Around this time he started travelling around the county to sketch houses, churches and village scenes. In 1833, he resigned from his post as schoolmaster and moved to Scaldwell where he took up his artistic work full time. Between 1819 and 1854, Clarke produced pen and ink studies of all the major houses, parish churches and village environments in Northamptonshire. His work provides a unique and complete record of the built environment of Northamptonshire during the first half of the 19th century and over a period when the Parliamentary enclosure movement was completing the transformation of the county’s open fields and commons.  He died at Scaldwell in 1868.

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George Clarke - Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire G. H. B. Holland - Ravenstone, near Olney, Buckinghamshire Fred Jay Girling - HMS Anson at the Firth of Forth Bridge

HMS Anson at the Firth of Forth Bridge