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Henry Gordon Pilkington - South African Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Henry Gordon Pilkington (1886 - 1968)

Henry Gordon Pilkington was born in Sea Point, South Africa 1886 - 1968

Art Education
Architecture, under Sir Herbert Baker in South Africa and Sir William Lorimer in Edinburgh. Self-taught

Short Artist Biography
Younger brother of the well-known marine painter, GW Pilkington. An architect by profession, Henry Pilkington turned to painting as a hobby, working in watercolour.
1910: while employed by PWD, his architectural talent attracted the attention of Sir Herbert Baker, who drew Henry Pilkington in to work on the Union Buildings, Pta.
1917: Henry Pilkington listed among members of South African Society of Artists; included in Roworth's essay on `Landscape Art in South Africa' in the Studio publication, `Art of the British Empire Overseas' (his painting, Malay Funeral, Cape Town, is reproduced in colour). Showed several times on Royal Academy, with extremely favourable reception by critics, but his reluctance to exhibit his work limited South African public awareness of his ability. Designed Durban War Memorial, which at the time was reputed to incorporate the largest panel of Assyrian faience in the world. He practised architecture in Pretoria for many years; went back to work for PWD --retired 1950.
1951: Henry Pilkington departed for London. Never a very communicative man he seldom expressed public opinions or provided information about himself.
1968: a letter from the author requesting biographical data arrived on the day after he had been struck down by a massive stroke; he died shortly afterwards.

Art Exhibitions
1925: One-man art exhibition, Johannesburg
1936: Empire Exhibition, Johannesburg

Public Art Collections
Pretoria Art Museum; William Humphreys Gallery, Kimberley

Berman, E. 1994. Art & Artists of South Africa . Southern Book Publishers.

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