George Henry RSA 1858 -1943
Elected ARSA: 30 March 1892
Elected RSA: 12 February 1902
George Henry was born in Ayrshire in 1858. He received his art education at the Glasgow School of Art. After working for sometime in Scotland he travelled in Japan, China, Egypt and India. During the latter part of his life he resided in London. He died on 23rd December and was buried in Glasgow.
George Henry was almost the last survivor of the original band of painters which became known to the art world, not only in Britain but also in Europe and America, as the Glasgow School. The first important adhesion to W. Y. Macgregor and James Paterson comprised Guthrie, Walton, Henry and Joseph Crawhall, who were working together at Brig-o’-Turkin 1881.
E.A. Hornel joined shortly afterwards and with Henry represented the more decorative side of the movement. Together they painted at least one important canvas, ‘The Druids.” It was the less naturalistic attitude of Henry and Hornel that chiefly disturbed the critics of the time and elicited he opinion that “this Scotch art approached the border where painting ends and the Persian carpet begins.”
'To one German writer Henry’s work appeared “crazy enough to make you scream.” Certainly such a picture as the “ Galloway Landscape’ must have seemed an extraordinary phenomenon in 1890. In his subsequent work Henry receded from this unique revelation. Mr. Henry wa selected an Associate in 1892, an Academician in 1902, and became a non-resident member in 1908. His Diploma picture is entitled‘ “The Grey Hat.””
He became a Royal Academician in 1920 and was also a member of the International Society. His work comprised landscape, figure subjects and portraits. He painted one of the panels in the Banqueting Hall, Glasgow Municipal Buildings, the subject being William the Lion granting a charter to the city.
RSA Obituary by George Pirie and David Foggie, transcribed from 1943 Annual Report