The Doric Columns
Frederick William George
In the spring of
a discovery was made. At the bottom of an overgrown garden of a terraced house
in Aberdeen was a large corrugated iron shed, a shed that had not been opened
for over thirty years. This shed once served as the studio to the painter,
sculptor and designer
Frederick William George.
Once the door was opened and the cobwebs cleared away, the dim light revealed
the world of Frederick George much as he had left it, thirty-seven years before.
The artist's cloak still hung on a peg on the back of the door, his brushes and
paint, now cracked and dry with age sat on the bench, his easel with an
unfinished canvas waiting to be completed sat in front of rows of sculptures and
boxes filled with canvasses and sketches. Since his death in
his studio was sealed as a shrine to the man, none of his work was sold, left
exactly as he had left it. Dusty sheets covered the contents of many years of
work, protecting this time capsule that represented works spanning the artist's
career. The discovery was made after the recent death of George's companion, as
agents prepared to value and sell the property in Aberdeen.
A war memorial of the figurative type with a life size statue of a soldier of a Highland regiment. It commemorates the dead from both World War I & II. It was unveiled on 20 September 1921. It has a tapering rectangular base of rough hewn granite with the name plaques of World War I set in the front and sides. Above the front plaque is carved a wreath behind which are a crossed rifle and sabre. Surmounting it is a statue of a kilted soldier in battledress with a rifle in his right hand resting on its butt. The memorial stands on a three-step base, the centre one of which has the names of the dead from World War II carved into three sides.
House of Schivas - Tarves, c.1585 or slightly earlier, Thomas Leper. Lands originally held by Scheves family, a succession of owners has wrought many changes and additions. Remarkably complex with some of the massing of Barra, but many links in plan and details to Tolquhon (eg triple gunloops). A lofty, L-plan, with square stairtower and a stair-turret in the re-entrant - for George Gray, fourth laird. North-east wing added, 1750, by Forbeses; 1780, main block extended to west; before 1851, north wing built by Irvines of Drum; 1900 burnt; 1902 rebuilt, A G Sydney Mitchell (executed James Cobban); from 1931 much internal work, A H L Mackinnon; 1934-7 restored, Fenton Wyness, Scots 16th-century style for first Lord Catto of Cairncatto, a Buchan loon turned merchant banker. Wyness remodelling very effective in unifying the various surviving fragments; in particular the courtyard wall and jewel-like gatehouse are admirable. Plasterwork of great hall by Mitchell, modified by Wyness; that of drawing room, also by Mitchell.
Inevitably George was to turn to teaching and in
he was offered the post of teacher of sculpture and life drawing at
Gray's School of Art,
where he himself had been a student. The post, which he much enjoyed was short
lived as his students were called up in turn to serve their country in the
Second world war.
As numbers dwindled it was decided to close the school. George was sent to then
teach younger pupils at the grammar school and later on at
Torry Grammar School
where he became involved in the amateur dramatics, painting the theatre sets and
Gray's was founded in 1885 as Gray's School of Science and Art, in recognition of the generosity of its founding father, John Gray (1811–1891). A local businessman and philanthropist, Gray had risen from humble beginnings as a carpenter to become partner in McKinnon & Co., a firm of engineers and iron founders in Aberdeen. In 1859 he was appointed director of the Aberdeen Mechanics Institution, a forerunner of Robert Gordon University. In the early 1880s, John Gray offered to finance and build a new school of science and art in Aberdeen, on the condition that the governors named it Gray's School of Science and Art. His offer stemmed partly from the difficulties he himself had experienced obtaining adequate training. The school opened in 1885 with 96 students enrolled for the day classes and 322 for the evening classes. The original building, sited at Schoolhill, gave architectural coherence to the neighbouring Aberdeen Art Gallery, as was Gray's wish.
Aberdeen Harbour showing the 2 Storey
Storage Shed and
roof cranes in Regents Quay
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