For over 250 years the Withers family of Birmingham worked as tailors, sometimes also as butchers. During the Georgian era, English society changed and the Withers family with it. First came a gentleman amateur artist in the form of Edward Weston Withers, grandfather of Walter Withers. Then Edwin Withers, Walter Withers' father, took to tobacco, rope and twine manufacturing which put an end to the traditions of butchery and tailoring.The origins of Walter's painterly ambitions are explored. There was a physical altercation between Walter and his father, Edwin. That fight emerged out of contradictory expectations between Walter's father, Edwin and his grandfather Edward. Those expectations and the societies which kindled them contributed to Walter's character and art. Up until now there has been no family history about Walter Herbert Withers (1854-1914) a notable Australian landscape artist of the Heidelberg school and friend to Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Streeton and Clara Southern. Walter, the son of a rich Victorian businessman, married Fanny Flinn, the daughter of a commercial salesman who also owned part of a Birmingham brewery. In No Place Quite Like It, Walter, his wife Fanny and his family are depicted against the social contexts in which they each grew up. Our appreciation of Walter Withers' art is expanded: by knowing those forces which helped shape his early years and how he responded to them; by gaining new insights into his origins and how he grew into the man he was. We also gain a fresh appreciation of his wife Fanny, and the influence she had upon him, their children, and upon the society in which she lived. Includes 200 pages of text, Prefaces by Andrew Mackenzie OAM (art historian), and Eileen Mackley AM (President, Victorian Artists Society), Bibliography and an Index, extensive images, maps, charts and family trees, provide a visual porthole through which an insight might be had into the lives and times of Walter Withers and his family history.
Paperback; 25.3x17.6x1.4 cm; 173 pages, illustr.; Bibliography; Index