From America with love – Widgery watercolour wings its way home
11 May 2018
Mike and Marj Harman have donated the F.J. Widgery watercolour The Moors, West Tavy Cleave, Dartmoor to RAMM. They travelled over 5,000miles from their home in America to present the work.
Marj Harman said “I love the painting and have had it on my wall for forty years. I bought it from a residential home and have no idea who the previous owner was or how it came to California. I didn’t want the painting to be lost again, so I have searched for a suitable home for it. Widgery was from Devon and RAMM has a wonderful collection of his paintings. I am delighted to have found a home where it will be cared for and appreciated.”
The topographical work documents a view of Dartmoor previously unrepresented in RAMM’s comprehensive collection of artworks by both Widgerys: father and son.
About Frederick John Widgery (1861-1942)
The younger son of the painter William Widgery (1826-1893), Frederick John was born in 1861. He was educated at Exeter Cathedral School then Exeter School of Art – part of RAMM’s predecessor, the Royal Albert Memorial. Later he attended the South Kensington Museum School and travelled to Antwerp to study under the painter Charles Verlat.
F.J. Widgery specialised in paintings of landscape: moors, sea and coast. He is known particularly for his skill in capturing both light and the effects of weather upon the landscape. He worked most often in watercolour outdoors: ‘en plein air’.
Alongside his work as an artist F J Widgery was a leader of the Exeter Civic Community from 1890. He was elected mayor of Exeter in 1903, made Freeman of the city in 1905, Alderman in 1909 and Justice of the Peace in 1912. Frederick John Widgery died on 27 January 1942 at the age of 81.
A selection of his works are on Collections Explorer.
Explore Widgery’s art on Dartmoor
Use the Masters of the Moor app to see Widgery’s Dartmoor paintings from the artist’s point of view. Let your phone’s camera picture the scene Widgery painted on the modern day moorland.
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