THE Anderson Trust has just opened a new exhibition in Helensburgh Library which focuses on paintings recently acquired by the Trust.
The Trust art collection specialises in works associated, either by artist or subject matter, with Helensburgh and the surrounding areas.
The original bequest by Miss Annie Templeton Anderson MBE comprised 34 paintings, many by artists who have become widely recognised, such as Sir James Guthrie, William Leighton Leitch, John Carlaw, James Paterson.
The 30 works in the present exhibition were acquired over the past ten years and, in many cases, complement or augment themes already represented in the Collection.
The section devoted to the Portincaple, Garelochhead and Rosneath Peninsula area has benefited particularly from new additions.
Two works by Evelyn Carslaw (1881-1968), a Glasgow Girl contemporary of Norah Neilson Gray, were kindly donated by her son John Carslaw, himself a painter and a Trustee of the Anderson Trust.
These are an accomplished etching of a fisherman's cottage on Skye and a fine oil painting entitled "Portincaple, Loch Long" (above right).
The latter invites comparison with an earlier painting in the Collection of the same view by John Reid Murray, and again, with two paintings acquired last year by a more recent artist who also lived and painted at Portincaple, Violet MacNeish Kay (1914-1971).
Her father, the well known artist, James Kay (1858-1942), designed their house "Crimea" on a hill at Whistlefield, overlooking Loch Long, and it is this view that is the subject of many of their paintings. The main feature of James Kay's "Whistlefield in Winter" is a glimpse of loch through a tangle of bare trees.
Violet Kay's paintings "A Fresh Day, Portincaple" (above left) and "Winter Morning Loch Long, Portincaple" look down on the cottage on the loch side at different times of year. The view that inspired these four works is almost identical and remains relatively unchanged.
It is interesting to compare different artists' response to it, when these paintings are displayed together.
"Garelochhead" (below right) by James Wright (1885-1947) is the title of another painting acquired in 2009. The artist was a friend of James Kay and lived for a time in Garelochhead.
This oil painting of the village as it was almost 100 years ago was shown last year, side by side with a contemporary photograph of the same view, as part of the "Then & Now" joint exhibition with Helensburgh Photographic Club.
The Rosneath peninsula features in the most recent donation to the Collection, a fine pencil drawing, "Rosneath" by Samuel John Lamorna Birch, RA, RSWA (1860-1965), an eminent landscape painter of that age.
He was born in Cheshire but worked most of his life in Cornwall — hence the name Lamorna — where he came under the influence of the Newlyn School of painters.
His interest in fishing took him to various parts of the British Isles and it is probable that his closely observed drawing of Rosneath resulted from one of his fishing visits to Scotland.
Rosneath High Street at the turn of the last century is the subject of a little oil painting by M.Stewart, donated to the Trust by a former resident of this area, now living in England.
Another interesting addition to the Collection is "Boatyard, Kilcreggan" (below left) by Arthur H.Turner (1901-1970) which makes a welcome companion for an earlier acquisition by this artist, "Clyde Regatta".
The sight of yachts in full sail on the Gareloch will be familiar to many in this area. Henry Turner's lively representation of this scene is one of the paintings from the Anderson Trust reproduced as a greetings card, on sale at the Scandinavian Shop, Helensburgh.
By contrast, Bill Wright's lyrical watercolour, "Winter Sunset, Rosneath Point", captures a more peaceful aspect of this beautiful view and is an important addition to the Anderson Trust Collection. Bill Wright, RSW, lives in Helensburgh, exhibits widely, and is well known for his masterful watercolours of sea, rock and sky.
Since Miss Anderson's bequest to the town in 1980, the Collection has continued to grow and now, largely thanks to donations of works by private collectors, it numbers 88 paintings.