On Saturday 31 August 2019 Kirkcudbright Galleries opens an exhibition to mark the bi centenary of the birth of the celebrated artist John Faed.
John Faed RSA has been curated by David Steel and Kirkcudbright Galleries and it runs until Sunday 10 November. This is a significant exhibition which aims to celebrate John Faed’s remarkable artistic talents and show his contribution to the social and cultural development of Kirkcudbright as the Artists’ Town from the 1880s.
John Faed was born at Barlay Mill, Gatehouse of Fleet on 31 August 1819, the oldest of six children, five of whom would see their works exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh or the Royal Academy in London. It was the success of the Faed family of artists which encouraged local families to believe that their children could become successful painters, too.
John Faed learnt to paint miniatures as a boy in Gatehouse, before moving to Edinburgh to pursue his career as an artist, where he was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1851. Although he later moved to London, his heart was always in Gatehouse and it was here that he built a house in 1868 settling there permanently about 1880 and using local models in many of his pictures.
The exhibition, which has attracted works from a number of galleries including the National Galleries of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy, also includes important paintings from private collections, some of which may never have been seen in public before. The exhibition spans John Faed’s long career from his earliest years as a miniaturist, to his time in Edinburgh and London and his Gatehouse based paintings featuring favourite local models such as Sandy Inglis, who appeared in many of his most celebrated works.
Without the example of the Faeds and John’s encouragement, Kirkcudbright might never have become an artists’ colony. John Faed was President of the Kirkcudbright Fine Art Society, which held its first exhibition in 1886 and which helped launch the careers of local painters such as E. A. Hornel, W. S. MacGeorge and William Mouncey, so it is fitting that the Kirkcubright galleries should mount an exhibition to honour the man who paved the way for others to follow.
Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Chair of Communities Committee Andy Ferguson has commented that;
“This exhibition highlights an important date in Kirkcudbright’s history as an artists’ town, John Faed would have been 200 years old on Saturday 31st August, Kirkcudbright has flourished as both a community and as an artists’ colony during this time, and the new exhibition at the Galleries celebrates the starting point in where this began.
Vice Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee John Martin has said that;
“This new exhibition is special in that it combines work both from public and private collections. Working alongside institutions such as The National Galleries of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy, the Galleries continues to broaden its partnerships out with the region.”