Fred Elwell, Local born Beverley Artist

Fred Elwell self portrait-Beverley Gallery
Fred Elwell self portrait-Beverley Gallery
Renezvous at brick bridge
Renezvous at brick bridge
An Old Inn Kitchen, 1922. Liverpool gallery
An Old Inn Kitchen, 1922. Liverpool gallery
My neighbours house=Bristol Gallery
My neighbours house=Bristol Gallery

Fred Elwell

Fred Elwell was born in 1870 and died in 1958. If you search the Internet for him you will find that information is fairly scarce. However, in my hometown, his is a well known name.

Fred attended evening art classes, before winning a scholarship to the Lincoln School of Art in 1887. He was a successful student and won many awards. Although he experimented with modern influences he opted for the traditional style of painting which was currently popular.

Fred travelled abroad, painting in Antwerp and Paris and had plans to move to London, and make the capital his home. However, this was not to be. Financial constraints and poor health saw him return to Beverley. I have no doubt that if circumstances had been different his name would have been more widely known.

In 1914 Fred married Mary Dawson, a local widow, who was also an established, local artist. With an improved financial position Fred and Mary travelled extensively and Fred became a full member of the Royal Academy in 1938. Ultimately Fred believed that :-

"painting is 90 per cent perspiration and 10 per cent inspiration" and regarded modern art movements as "misguided attempts at being different ".

A traditional artist, many of Fred's paintings are disliked by modern artists and dismissed as chocolate box, sentimental and chintzy. There is no denying though that Fred was an exceptional artist and his work is charming and well as professional.

One of his most famous paintings locally is "The first born" which is part of Ferens Art Gallery's vast collection. The painting shows a young husband sitting on the bed, whilst his wife holds their newly born first child. It is sweet and very much of the time.

There are works of art by Fred Elwell on display at galleries around the country which include Beverley and Bristol.

Fred Elwell latest

Beverley, East Yorkshire is quite rightly proud of Fred Elwell and his local links. For 2009 there are plans to bring this local artist to the public eye in a slightly unusual way. A Fred Elwell trail is being organised. It will mean that some of Fred's paintings will be hung in prominent positions around Beverley. These places will also be significant to each piece of work.

Most of Fred's paintings incorporated areas and settings in and around Beverley, so this trail should be very interesting. Seeing paintings in 21st Century surroundings could also be a little strange. However Beverley still has a quaintness and retains much of its old world charm, despite having modern shops and the like.

The Treasure House Art Gallery in Beverley will have a supporting exhibition with plenty of information regarding Fred Elwell and his work. A test trail painting was hung for a month in April and proved successful.

The trail should be up and running by July 2009 and anyone visiting Beverley or the surrounding area may find it interesting check out Fred Elwell's work.

Beverley

Saturday Market
Saturday Market
Beverley Minster
Beverley Minster
Inside Beverley Art Gallery
Inside Beverley Art Gallery
Looking across the Westwood toward the derelict black mill
Looking across the Westwood toward the derelict black mill
Beverley Gate now has limited access due to height restrictions. Buses are no longer allowed passage through.
Beverley Gate now has limited access due to height restrictions. Buses are no longer allowed passage through.

The Ferens Art Gallery, Hull

 The Ferens is located in Victoria Square in the centre of Kingston-Upon-Hull and is free to visit. It is owned, run and maintained by the local council.The gallery has permanent collections on display which include works of art by Canaletto and Frans Hals as well as modern works and temporary displays.

The gallery's gift shop sells greetings cards and posters of The First Born and more.

Beverley

Beverley is around 7 miles outside of Kingston-Upon-Hull in East Yorkshire, England. It is a small market town which is very pretty. Within a short distance there are the yorkshire wolds, York, Harrogate and the coast.

Beverley has a through train station with links around the country and a good bus service. As a base for exploring East Yorkshire it would be a perfect.

Beverley though small has a racecourse with a good programme of events. There is a large market held every Saturday and a smaller Wednesday market. The Westwood, a short walk from the centre of Beverley, is a great place to picnic or just stretch your legs. Beverley has a good selection of shops, restaurants and cafes. Good antiquarian book stores and antique shops are dotted around. Beverely has a Minster and the historic St Marys Church which are also worth a visit.

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Comments 15 comments

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 22 months ago from Southern California, USA

I had never heard of this artist before, so it was interesting learning about a new one.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 3 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Thanks sweetie pie. I am sure you would love it though it is a small place.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 3 years ago from Southern California, USA

Beverly looks like an amazing place to visit. I also enjoyed hearing more about Fred Elwell.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Vicky sorry for a late reply. How about Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, plus Beverley Gallery and market, wed and sat. The Museum Quarter in Hull offers plenty to see if the weather is not good and the Deep is quite near. Hope this helps. You could google the local tourist offices for more hints. Castle Howard near York might suit too. It depends how far you want to explore I guess


vicky ellwood 4 years ago

Hi ethel, can you advise me on where to take and what to show to a friend who has travelled from australia and will be visiting our area for just a couple of days her surname is elwell so I feel Fred must be a relative somewhere back in time. Is the Fred Elwell trail still available to see for visitors to Beverley?


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 4 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

THanks Tracy, that's interesting. I too love his work


Tracy Arraj 4 years ago

Love Freds work. Hailing from Born inBeverley grew up with his name and works. Favourite had to be "First Born" my Nanna knew the lady who posed for the picture, it was painted from just outside Beverley Bar.


George 4 years ago

How much is the first born painting worth.


TonyMalley 5 years ago

Does anyone know the wherabouts of a painting by Fred Elwell of my Great Grandmother Mrs Jackson , married name Cook ? I believe it may be in Beverley Art gallery.

I believe she posed sometime between 1945-55.

Any information as to the location of it would be gratefully received.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Hey Bonny art is very much in the eye of the beholder. I do like some modern work but love the old style artists like Elwell.


bonny2010 profile image

bonny2010 6 years ago from outback queensland

I collect old old paintings of little known artists and many of them are better than a lot of the modern ones - I like Fred's work - there is a lot of love for hiswork and hissubject in them - I think he is great and the way he works with light - few people know how to nowadays, and few care too - I know I shouldn't be critical of modern art, but I always felt it was an excuse for insufficient ability not a need to express oneself - if you want to express yourself in art then let your paintbrush show your love for your subject (like fred does) not your fear of it. Anyway that's my humble opinionor some of it. cheers great reading another of your hubs


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Thanks Habee. I had a link sent from one of Elwell's relatives and then have just been too busy to add it.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Great hub, awesome artist, and charming town!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Yes it is lovely but smal Dolores. I need to update this hub with some information sent by a relative of Elwells


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Beverly looks lovely, and the market seems like a wonderful place to visit. Okay, I realize this was about Fred, the artist, but I just think Beverly looks great.

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