At the recent Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Birmingham Archives and Heritage, it was announced that a small purchase had been made and donated to Archives & Collections, Library of Birmingham and this blog is to inform people about the item.
It is an invitation ticket to an exhibition of paintings at Everitt and Hill, art dealers, on New Street, on 18 August [c.1860], (reference number MS 4869 Accession 2017/ 007). The invitation was to James Baldwin and the paintings he was invited to view were:
James Watt and his First Steam Engine by Lauder R.S.A.
Shakespeare and Milton by John Faed
The Wanderer’s Return by Henry O’Neill
Broken Vows by Philip Calderon
It was, of course, the first item which attracted the attention of the FoBAH Committee.
A younger brother of artist Robert Scott Lauder, he was born at Silvermills, Edinburgh, the fifth and youngest son of John Lauder of Silvermills (proprietor of the great tannery there) by his spouse Helen Tait. Under the guidance and encouragement of his elder brother Robert, he rapidly developed an early love of art.
He attended Edinburgh Academy from 1824 to 1828. He joined Robert in Italy in 1834, and remained there nearly four years. Upon his return to Edinburgh he became an annual contributor to the Exhibitions of the Royal Scottish Academy, and exhibited occasionally at the Royal Academy in London, where his works attracted much attention.
In 1839 he was elected an associate, and in 1846 became full member, of the Royal Scottish Academy. The painting of James Watt and the Steam Engine: the Dawn of the Nineteenth Century, 1855, is said to be one of his principal works.
The painting is now held in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh. Continue reading