The outstanding horse painter of her generation, Lucy Kemp-Welch began her training in 1891 at Herkomer’s famous painting schools at Bushey in Hertfordshire. Herkomer, with his quite revolutionary style of individual art training, encouraged her natural talent for painting animals. Kemp-Welch quickly developed a reputation for painting horses culminating in the honour of having her painting Colt Hunting in the New Forest aquired by the Chantrey Bequest for permanent display at the Tate Gallery in 1897. It was the first work acquired by the Chantrey Bequest from a woman.
Lucy’s fascination with animals was not limited to the portrayal of horses. Through her special affection for the working horse she became familiar with other agricultural animals and the labourers and farmers who tended them. Over the span of her long career Kemp Welch created many elegant depictions of agricultural animals often rendered in watercolour or pastel. She is perhaps best known for her illustrations of the 1915 edition of Anna Sewell’s classic tale, ‘Black Beauty’.
The Studio Estate of Lucy Kemp-Welch has been represented by Messum’s since 1972, since when there have been a number of successful exhibitions and publications leading to her artistic reappraisal.
Lucy Kemp-Welch was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy from 1895-1949.
1905: London, Fine Art Society, One Person Show
1912: London, Dudley Gallery, One Person Show
1934: London: Arlington Galleries, Group Show
1938: London: Arlington Galleries, One Person Show
1954: London: Cooling Galleries, Paintings, Drawings and Engravings of Animals
In the Open Country: The Work of Miss Lucy E. Kemp-Welch, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1905
Laura Wortley, Lucy Kemp-Welch: The Spirit of the Horse, Woodbridge: The Antique Collectors’ Club, 1996
Works by Lucy Kemp-Welch are held in the following public collections:
Blackpool: The Grundy Art Gallery
Bournemouth: The Russell-Cotes Gallery
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
Bury Art Gallery and Museum
Bushey Museum and Art Gallery
Cambridgeshire: Wisbech and Fenland Museum
Cardiff: National Museum of Wales
Cumbria: Hawkshead Market Hall Trust
Exeter: Royal Albert Museum
Hereford: Museum and Art Gallery
Leamington Art Gallery and Museum
Liverpool: Walker Art Gallery
London: Imperial War Museum
London: Tate Gallery
London: Royal Exchange
Rochdale Art Gallery
Sheffield: Graves Art Gallery
Southport: Atkinson Art Gallery
Southampton City Art Gallery
Australia: Melbourne - National Gallery of Victoria
New Zealand: Timaru - Aigantighe Art Gallery; Auckland City Art Gallery; Christchurch - Robert McDougall Art Gallery; Wellington - Museum of New Zealand
South Africa: Cape Town - National Gallery of South Africa; Pietermaritzburg - Tatham Art Gallery; Johannesburg Art Gallery
Topic of the Week
Horse & Hound
9th February 2012
1st February 2012
Art in London
1st March 2009
'The General's Charger who became a children's hero'
Horse and Hound
1st December 1996
'The Artist who gave her heart to horses'
1st November 1996
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