Stanley Cursiter

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Sir Stanley Cursiter
Born29 April 1887
Kirkwaa, Orkney, Scotland
Died22 April 1976 (aged 88)
Stromness, Orkney, Scotland
NaitionalityScottish
EddicationEdinburgh College o Airt
Kent forPentin, drawin, author
MuivementFuturism
Hauf-marrae(s)Phyllis Hourston

Stanley Cursiter CBE FRSE FRIAS FEIS RSA RSW (29 April 1887 – 22 April 1976) wis an Orcadian airtist that played an important role in introducin Post-impressionism an Futurism tae Scotland. He sert as the keeper (1919–30), then director (1930–48), o the National Galleries o Scotland, an as HM Limner an Penter in Scotland (1948–76).[1]

Biography[eedit | eedit soorce]

He wis born on 29 April 1887 at 15 East Road in Kirkwaa, Orkney, the son o John Scott Cursiter an Mary Joan Thomson.[2]

He wis eddicatit at Kirkwaa Grammar Schuil afore flittin tae Edinburgh, whaur he studied at Edinburgh College o Airt. His aerly penting wis influenced bi cubism, futurism[3] an vorticism. Frae a young age, he clearly haed access tae muckle wealth as he bidit at 28 Queen Street in 1910, ane o the maist prestigious addresses in Edinburgh, an nae affordable tae the average airt student.[4]

Durin the First Warld War he sert as an officer in 1st Battalion, the Cameronians an sert in The Battle o the Somme, Amiens an Abbeville. The state in the trenches caused him tae develop bronchitis an asthma, an he wis sent tae the sooth o France tae recover. Efter recoverin, he returnt tae the Battalion's base, but wis again hospitalised an in danger o becomin 'unfit for service'. Housomiver he kept serrin bi transferrin tae the 4th Field Ordnance Survey Battalion[5] at 4th Airmy Heidquarters an developed new an faster methods for processing aerial photographs. In particular, he devised a clever method o projeckin the photographic negative taen frae a spotter plane that remakit the tilt present whan the photograph wis taen – the technique o single photo-optical rectification.[6] This sped up the process o rapid fixin o enemy gun emplacements. Durin the War, he learnt tae uise radio anaa (becomin President o the Edinburgh Radio Society).[7] He wis Mentioned in Dispatches twice an received a military OBE. Durin the Seicont Warld War he haed thrift at the Ordnance Survey Department in Southampton (1939–40) afore muivin tae the same organisation in Edinburgh (1940–1945). He wis gien a military CBE in 1948.[8]

Efter the First Warld War he adoptit a mair realist style. He travellt tae France efter the war afore settlin in Edinburgh in 1920.[9]

Cursiter becam an Associate o the Royal Scottish Academy in 1927, a fu Academician in 1937 an sert as Secretar tae the Academy frae 1953 tae 1955. He wis the first Secretar o the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland an wis appyntit Keeper o the National Galleries of Scotland in 1930, a post he held until 1948.[10] That same year, he wis grantit the Freedom o Kirkwaa an wis appyntit as the King's (later to be Queen's) Penter an Limner for Scotland, a poseition he held until his daith.[11]

He pented watercolour landscapes o East Lothian, Orkney an Shetland, an designed Saint Rognvald Chapel in St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwaa. He is kenspeckle for his portraits an is conseidert as being amang the finest Scots portraitists o the 20th Yearhunner. He pentit 'Her Majesty The Queen receiving the Honours of Scotland' in the High Kirk o St Giles in 1953; this pentin hangs on the Great Stair, Palace o Halyruidhoose, Edinburgh.

Aberdeen University awairdit him an honorary doctorate (LLD) in 1959. He wis electit a Fellow o the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1938, a rare honour for an airtist. His proponers wis James Pickering Kendall, Leonard Dobbin, James Watt, an Sir Ernest Wedderburn.[12]

Cursiter haed a muckle pairt in the campaign tae create a Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.[3]

He deit in Stromness on 22 Aprile 1976.[2]

Memorial tae Stanley Cursiter in Kirkwaa Cathedral, Orkney

Faimily[eedit | eedit soorce]

He mairrit Phylliss Hourston on 14 October 1916.[2]

His aulder sister Jessie Cursiter (1881-1916) is buirit in Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh.

Selectit warks[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Rain on Princes Street, 1913
  • The Regatta, 1913
  • Villefranche,circa 1920
  • The Fair Isle Jumper, 1923
  • Geo at Yesnaby and Brough of Bigging, 1929
  • Window – Burnstane House, circa 1935
  • The Old Store, Stromness, 1950
  • The Honours of Scotland, 1954
  • Landscape in the Orkneys, 1954

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (Julie 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002: Biographical Index (PDF). I. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  2. a b c "Stanley Cursiter (1887-1976)". National Records of Scotland. Scottish Government. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  3. a b Mansfield, Susan (5 Mairch 2018). "How Edinburgh artists of the 1930s shook up the establishment". The National. Herald and Times Group. Newsquest Media Group. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  4. Edinburgh an Leith Post Office Directory, 1910–11
  5. "History of the 4th Field Survey Battalion Royal Engineers)" (PDF). Archived frae the original (PDF) on 28 Januar 2016. Retrieved 18 Januar 2016.
  6. "Stanley Cursiter's contribution" (PDF). Retrieved 3 Mairch 2015.
  7. A Chasm in Time – Scottish War Art and Artists in the Twentieth Century, by Patricia R. Andrew, Birlinn Ltd., 2014. ISBN 978-1780271903
  8. https://www.royalsoced.org.uk/cms/files/fellows/biographical_index/fells_indexp1.pdf
  9. Chilvers, Ian; Glaves-Smith, John. A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Second ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 170. ISBN 9780199239658.
  10. "Cursiter painting sells for £22,500 at London auction". The Orcadian. Orkney Media Group Ltd. 22 November 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  11. "Cursiter paintings snapped up at Edinburgh auction". The Orcadian. Orkney Media Group Ltd. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  12. https://www.royalsoced.org.uk/cms/files/fellows/biographical_index/fells_indexp1.pdf

Fremmit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]