Dawson Dawson-Watson


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DAWSON DAWSON-WATSON (AM. 1864-1939)


Dawson-Watson was born in London and received a grammar-school education at Southsea, Hampshire. He received his early art training from the American painter William Mark Fisher in Steyning, Sussex. In Paris he was a student of Carlos-Duran, Louis-Joseph, Raphael Collin, Theobald Chartran, Aime-Nicholas Morot, Luc-Oliver Merson, and Pierre-Paul-Leon Glaize. Dawson-Watson painted afterward at Giverny in the period 1884 - 1890 and in 1888 married an American, Mary Hoyt Sellar who was traveling in France at the time with Emily Richardson Cherry. He and his wife came to the United States in 1893, staying briefly in New York and Boston before settling in Connecticut, where he became director of the Hartford Art Society (1893 - 1896). He painted on occasion in the coastal town of Bridgeport. About 1897 he returned to England but found it difficult to make a living. He traveled to Quebec where he worked for a time (1900 - 1902); after a period teaching at the Byrdcliffe Colony in Woodstock, New York (1903 - 1904), he taught at the St. Louis School for the Arts (1904 - 1915). He served as art director of the St. Louis Industrial Exhibition in 1914. From 1915 until 1917 he instructed in classes of the Springfield (Missouri) Art Association and in 1916 was art director of a pageant in Brandesville, Missouri. During these periods he painted in Massachusetts in the summers. In 1918 he worked for a year as director of the San Antonio Artists Guild. In 1920 he was director of the Missouri Centennial, St. Louis, and remained in the city to work in theater design.

Rolla Taylor encouraged Dawson-Watson to settle in San Antonio, and Louise I. Herff and Ethel Tunstall Drought, longtime president of the San Antonio Art League, invited his participation in the Edgar B. Davis Competition, which offered large cash prizes. In 1926 Dawson-Watson settled permanently in San Antonio, painting numerous impressionist canvases for exhibition by the league, one of which earned the $5,000 National Prize in the 1928 Davis Competition. A cultured and civic-minded individual, he remained a resident of San Antonio until his death in the city. Edward Dawson-Watson was his son.

Source: Texas Painters, Sculptors & Graphic Artists by John and Deborah Powers

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