Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rowland Hilder

The landscape painter Rowland Hilder (1905-1993) spent a critical period of his youth in New Cross and then attended Goldsmiths College.

In an article in The Countryman (Autumn 1980) he described his formative years: 'I was born in Great Neck, Long Island, USA of British parents. Each summer I came with my parents to England where we stayed for two or three months. Much of that time I spent with my grandparents in Birling, Kent, so that at an early age I was introduced to the delights of the Kentish countryside and to sea travel on the great ocean liners. We returned to England early in 1915, sailing on the Lusitania; the last trip before she was finally sunk in the Irish Sea by a U-boat.I spent the war years in New Cross, London, from where I was able to cycle to the River Thames at Greenwich, and to make excursions to the Kentish countryside. My father was a keen amateur watercolour painter, so on his return from active service I had little difficulty in persuading him to let me attend the nearby Goldsmiths' College School of Art as soon as I was allowed to leave day school at the age of sixteen'.

According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Bibliography, as a child he lived 'above a tobacconist's shop in New Cross, London, which Hilder's father bought for his wife in case he did not return from the war'. Later he lived for many years in Blackheath and became a Professor of Art at Goldsmiths. He was well-known for his watercolours of the Kent countryside.


Anonymous said...

My parents had a couple of Rowland Hilder prints on the wall when I was very young. I can still remember them - one included 2 cows standing very close together so it looked (to my childish eyes) as if it was one cow with 6 legs. Despite that, I was very fond of the rather subdued landscapes. Nice to be reminded of him!

Sebastian said...

I wonder where that tobacconist was? Surely a blue or brown plaque is in order?

One clue in his book 'Rowland Hilder Country' (ISBN 0906969743) he says:

" Then, at last, I was admitted to Goldsmiths'. I would set out from our little home at the tobacconist's shop every morning, on foot or by tram"

felix said...

I like this artist - we too had a print above our fireplace. I still have it
A bit more here and here
Looks like a shotgun wedding!
His father was Roland Hilder apparently.
Let's find the tobacconist now.

Anonymous said...

Should anyone wish to purchase an original Rowland Hilder oil or watercolour I have some in London and can be contacted on telephone 00972 (0)89714010.
Myy identity is "Michael W."