Wilfred Fairclough RWS, RE, ARCA

Wilfred Fairclough RWS, RE, ARCA

1907 - 1996

Remarks: Wilfred Fairclough at the Victoria and Albert Museum: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/search/?limit=15&narrow=1&q=wilfred+fairclough&commit=Search&after-adbc=AD&before-adbc=AD&name%5B%5D=50923&offset=0&slug=0
born. 1907 in Blackburn; died. 1996 in Kingston-upon-Thames

Painter, etcher, engraver and printmaker of landscapes and architectural scenes; also an art teacher

Wilfred Fairclough attended the Royal College of Art (1931-34) and became a Rome Scholar in engraving (1934-37). He was elected an Associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers in January 1934, gaining full membership in 1946 (RE), and also membership to the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours in 1968 (RWS). In 1938 he secured a job teaching at the Kingston College of Art before being called up to serve in the RAF during WWII. In the early 1940s Fairclough worked on an ambitious nationwide documentary project called Recording Britain (headed by Arnold Palmer). Within the colossal project Fairclough's topographical works focus primarily on architectural buildings located in Petersham, Surrey. He spent post-war periods returning to Rome and Venice, before becoming the Principal of Kingston College of Art in 1968, and then Assistant Director of Kingston Polytechnic. He retired in 1972 and continued to produce paintings and etchings, among which are included a notable series of etchings and aquatints of Venice and Lucerne, Italy.

Fairclough's works are wide in their subjects, ranging from urban cafes, carnivals and music hall scenes to accurate architectural studies.

His son is the painter and printmaker, Michael Fairclough (born 1940).

Fairclough is represented by public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum (who hold an extensive collection of his Recording Britain works, c.1941-43), Government Art Collection, British Museum, British Council, and City of Edinburgh Council, among others.

Benjamin Angwin – September 2014