12 Paintings donated to Rugby Borough Council
by Rupert Bent Walker
(Believed destroyed - Left to Rugby Borough Council on the death of Rupert Bent Walker, son of Edward Bent Walker. They were not wanted by Rugby Borough Council and stored in an asbestos
riddled attic of the old Library. We requested they be returned to the family in 1988 when we realised RBC were not interested in them.
We found out later that they had disposed of the entire contents of the attic on discovering the asbestos!
Royay Academy Of Music
Marylebone Road, London NW1 5HT
Incorporated Society of Musicians
10 Stratford Place London W1N 9AE
Ebenezer Prout (1835–1909) is depicted when elderly, with a long, silver, whispy beard and grey hair, half-length, turned to the right, wearing academic robes.
The portrait was painted on the commission of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, and it has hung in the Royal Academy of Music, on loan from the ISM, since May 1958.
Professor Ebenezer PROUT (March 1 1835 – December 1 1909)
Alderman John Andrew Anderson, JP Mayor of Faversham
Once again, the research of Art Detective’s Paul Kettlewell has resulted in a confident correction to painting data. Paul Kettlewell is a frequent user of newspaper archives, which often report on commissions of portraits of town dignitaries.
An article in the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald dated 28th October 1899 noted that Faversham Town Council, Mayor's Parlour and Guildhall’s portrait of Alderman John Andrew Anderson, JP was by a 'Mr Walker', who agreed 'that it would not be injurious' if the work was glazed. The article also noted that the painting was presented in '1899, to the Corporation, for the Council Chamber, by 151 inhabitants of Faversham and neighbourhood'.
The collection's records indicated the date of this work to be c.1899, but the article shows that the work was definitely made by '1899 or before', allowing for the Your Paintings record to be updated accordingly. Paul also noted initially that 'a faint inscription on the lower right corner appears to say "... Walker" and "189...", but is mainly unclear.'
A discussion soon was underway relating to the identity of Mr Walker, the portrait’s artist. Tim Williams mentioned John Hanson Walker (1844–1933) as a possibility, followed by Oliver Perry, who linked to an article which mentioned Edward Bent Walker painted a mayor of Faversham.
Osmund Bullock took a closer look at the signature, which appeared to read 'E Bent Walker', with '1899' below. Osmond noted that he thought John Hanson Walker was a strong possibility until seeing the article found by Oliver, however it was difficult to compare the signatures of E. Bent Walker works, which vary across paintings. He noted to support the attribution that E. Bent Walker (1860–1917) was working in the south of England at the time of the Mayor’s portrait.
A short discussion was held regarding E. Bent Walker’s forename, as Osmund noted the RA (Graves 1905) has him listed as Edwin, as does the Witt Library checklist and ULAN, yet Edward is more likely: an obituary written by close friend Robert Blatchford gives the artist's name as Edward Bent Walker.
Group Leader Barbara Bryant recommended the discussion be closed, and noted that in '1899, Walker was at Bushey in Hertfordshire, still associated with Herkomer's school.' Edward Bent Walker (1860–1917) was listed as the artist of the portrait, and the execution date of this work amended slightly from 'c.1899' to '1899 or before'. Jade King, PCF