Gifts of paintings to galleries are rare, due to programmes such as
Antiques Roadshow and What's It Worth highlighting the monetary value of
family treasures. However, there are still public spirited individuals,
who regardless of the value of their possessions, choose to support
their public galleries through making gifts. Recently, the Smith has
received two important works.
The first is an oil painting, Towards Newburgh by William Miller Frazer
RSA PSSA (1864-1961), a distinguished Scottish artist who was born in
Scone, and had a long and acclaimed career both at home and abroad.
Towards Newburgh is a good example of his work.
He had a love of
painting reeds by rivers, and was a frequent visitor to the Fens of
England. His paintings have great subtlety and in his own words - the
words of Psalm 23 - transmit the peace of 'pastures green...and quiet
His work can be found in the gallery collections of Edinburgh, Paisley
and Perth, and the Smith Trustees are pleased to have such a fine
example for Stirling.
The painting was gifted by the artist's granddaughter.
A watercolour of Kippen entitled End of the Village by Alexander P
Thomson (d.1962) is another welcome donation. It came to light in a
surprising way, when many years ago, it was found in the back of a
picture frame by stained glass artist Alex Gilfillan.
The location was
unidentified, and Alex and his wife Sheena spent years trying to
identify the scene on their travels. About 30 years ago, they
recognised the place as Kippen. One of the villagers not only confirmed
that the crow step gabled building in the picture had been demolished,
but identified the figure in the painting as Wilhelmina Miller, the
servant of fellow artist and friend Sir D Y Cameron. Thomson was a
frequent guest at Dun Eaglis, D Y's home in Kippen.
Although Alex and Sheena Gilfillan of Lenzie have treasured this
painting with its social and art history for years, they decided that
the Smith should be its permanent home.
Both paintings are currrently on show at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum.
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