HARRY WALDER7 Comments
Photo: RON HUNT
Item #: 28029
I reckon Mr Walder did a smashing job with this painting of Mab's Cross. There's 'something' about the painting that lets me imagine it sitting comfortably alongside those of Thomas Girtin.
Ron These are brilliant paintings. Why is he not famous.
High praise indeed Philip, wasn't it Turner himself commentating after his friend Girtin's early death at the age of 32 who said "If Tom Girtin had lived, I should have starved". A wild exaggeration perhaps but Turner’s words show his admiration for the impressive effects Girtin achieved.
Just found this on Harry from 2009 from Wigan Today.
Apparently Harry lived "What is thought to be almost all of the mature works of the acclaimed local painter Harry Walder are now on show and up for sale at once. After spending 16 years in storage, the 60 watercolours are being exhibited at the Framed-Up gallery in Ormskirk Road, Pemberton.
The private owner of the paintings – which catalogue many Wigan landmarks and events – has decided to sell them all for 200 each, although curator Simon Taylor reckons that they are worth three times that.
They were last seen in an exhibition at Smiths of Wigan in 1993, a year after the 83-year-old’s death."
He painted quite a lot on the canal bank off Darlington street where he lived with his wife who he married in 1931 at St Catharines Church..
And finally - I make no apologies for lifting this from wiganworld's message board, posted by "ianp" some 5 years ago, I think it's an honest and fine tribute to Harry.
"I believe the remaining finished and unfinished works went to his daughter.
Actually, he lived on Darlington Street East, Wigan - close to the old railway station.
Harry Walder did a lot of local scenes of Wigan, because he felt part of them, enjoyed doing them, and later because they were requested.
Harry also did various works of art on subjects like animals and coastal scenes.
He loved drawing and painting, especially detailed watercolours. Most of his time was spent painting and so he produced a lot of paintings - some to requests and some for his own pleasure.
There are lots of signed prints in existance, which were sold via 'Smiths'. The truth behind this is not really a happy one. Harry was paid an embarrassing pittance for each signature that he put on each print. The only pleasureable fact is, Harry's name is reasonably well-known around Wigan, because of the signed prints which were sold via Smiths.
Most towns have or had a local artist or two who painted or still paint in a similar style, so it is extremely difficult for an artist to become famous in another area, especially when the artist specializes on local scenes of his or her hometown. Local scenes are treasured by the locals who remember them fondly and feel part of them.
For those people who have prints and/or paintings by Harry Walder, treasure them for what they are and not for how much they are worth. I can tell you honestly and genuinely, that is what Harry would have wanted!"
Keith: Turner did indeed make that comment regarding his deceased (27yrs) friend Girtin.
You certainly know your Harry Walder too, - giving here a smashing account of his remarkable career in a manner which encourages further study of the man and the artist.
Walder's Mab's Cross; shades of Girtin's La Rue St. Denis', wouldn't you say?
Both paintings contain similar buildings, but also the same hive of activity; grafters at their work, couples showing their affection for each other, children playing and, ofcourse, people jangling.
Thank you for your comments Philip, I completely concur with your view.