A major exhibition of publicly-owned work by a renowned Scottish artist will begin in Angus this weekend.
Although he was admired by kings, queens and critics across Europe in his lifetime, wider appreciation of David Waterson’s art was curtailed by his desire to live and work in Brechin, where he was born in 1870 and died in 1954.
Despite the patronage of King Gustav of Sweden and general appreciation in art circles, Waterson chose to make his paintings affordable to neighbours even letting buyers name their price.
Dozens of artist’s paintings are owned by Angus Council and the David Waterson Trust (DWT), which has spent years acquiring his work from private collections and forgotten corners across Europe.
Trust chairman John Ritchie has announced a major exhibition of works owned by the people of Brechin in conjunction with the local authority, beginning on Saturday.
A large number of artworks will, for the first time, be paired with original poems by the artist.
Mr Ritchie said: “David Waterson also wrote more than 500 poems and DWT trustee Ken MacAskill, a retired English teacher, born and raised in Brechin and a second cousin of the artist, has linked poems to 47 of the paintings which will also be available at the exhibition.
“An old artist friend of mine has always considered poetry to be the most important of the arts and with that, Brechin’s DW was doubly talented.”
The artist’s widow Ann donated the beginnings of the Brechin collection in 1956,
She said Waterson found beauty “most of all” in the “beauties of the Scottish landscape especially the hills and glens and rivers of this lovely county of Angus”.
Alex Small, Town Clerk of Brechin, wrote to Mrs Waterson the day after her husband’s death: “Mr Waterson will be remembered in Brechin and abroad as long as we have an eye for the beautiful an eye to see, through his eyes and in his works, the beauty that lies all around us.”
The exhibition in Brechin Town House Museum will open until September 19.
Dr Ian Fallows from Leeds, who has family links with the artist and recalls meeting him as a boy, will open the collection at a private viewing tomorrow, at which the brass ensemble of Brechin City Band will play period music.
A virtual gallery of Waterson’s work can also be viewed at davidwaterson.co.uk.