W J Wainwright at the RBSA Gallery

William John Wainwright PP RBSA
(1855-1931) was associated with the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) for 50 years until his death in 1931. His proactive membership is demonstrated through his achievement of a number of ‘firsts’ in the Society. He was one of the first Associate Members elected in 1881, the first President
chosen from the membership in 1927, and the first Member to stage his own solo exhibition in 1928.
The exhibition will focus on Wainwright’s portraits and costume studies. It will
display examples from the RBSA’s
Permanent Collection, works on loan from public and private collections, and a selection of Wainwright’s personal sketchbooks and letters. The exhibition will also feature significant works by
Wainwright’s contemporaries such as
fellow RBSA Members, Joseph Southall and Walter Langley.
Starting out as an apprentice at Hardman and Co. and student at the Birmingham School of Art, Wainwright moved to Antwerp and Paris to continue his artistic training. After short periods in London and the Newlyn Art Colony, he chose to spend the rest of his life in Birmingham where he loyally served the local
community. The exhibition will shed light on all these aspects of Wainwright’s life and on his historical context, making it a must-see for anyone interested in the art and history of his time.
About the exhibition
Birmingham Artist William John Wainwright (1855-1931): Characters
and Costumes has been curated by members of the RBSA’s Archive Team (Gayathri Anand, Charlotte Flint, Barbara Fogarty, Eleanor Hustler, Aileen Naylor, Natalie Quiney, Juddana Reid, Sophie Rycroft, David White RBSA and Carol White). The Archive Team would like to thank RBSA volunteers and staff who helped with this project.
The Archive Team is a dedicated group of volunteers, ranging from sixth-form students and undergraduates through to librarians and art teachers, including RBSA Members. This exhibition forms part of a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Young Roots’ scheme.
For more details about the project,
please contact the Archive Team at archives@rbsa.org.uk or telephone
0121 236 4353.


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