Wednesday, 20 August 2014

WWI Portrait Artists

Usually my WWI research is about individuals. But this week, it led me to two couples.

It started when a member of the public kindly sent a photograph of a Scotts Gap relative who had served in WWI. The initials on the photo were:

This was not a photographer that I had heard of so I was curious. I later checked our own collection and found that we have a soldier portrait with the same signature.
Alexander Dean Thomson portrait handtinted by A.W. & H. Jackson
Through a bit of internet sleuthing, I deduced that the initials stand for Alexander Wallace and Honor (nee Banfield) Jackson who worked at or owned the St Albans School of Art (SSA). This may have been at 143 Cranford Street, St Albans, Chch, but still need to verify that.

I couldn't find photos of the couple but according to the BDM website, they were married in 1911. ArchivesNZ website has records of their divorce in 1938 and Alexander's death in 1956.

It would be interesting to know how widespread their work was as I have found only one example on the internet. I would also like to know whether they photographed the soldiers and then handtinted the photos or whether they did the tinting only.

Do you know anything about this couple or have a portrait with the same signature? If so, drop me a line.

New winter/spring hours: open Sundays, 2pm-4pm, and by request. Your comments are always welcome!

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