William Crosbie (1915-1999)

Paintings and Drawings 1938-1990

Crosbie was a painter, draughtsman and mural artist, born in Hankow, China, of Scottish parents. The family stayed in China until 1926; Crosbie had a Chinese tutor, and Oriental philosophy remained a potent force in his life and work. After toying with the idea of a commercial career back in Glasgow, Crosbie decided instead to be a painter and studied at the School of Art, 1932–5. A Haldane Travelling Scholarship took him to Paris, where he studied history of art at the Sorbonne and worked under Fernand Léger and Aristide Maillol. During this period Crosbie experimented with elements of cubism and surrealism and was amongst the most advanced 'modern' artists in Britain. He then joined an archaeological expedition to Egypt, where he copied friezes on temple walls, but was back in Britain to serve in the Merchant Navy and Civil Defence during World War II. Crosbie now made a name as a mural painter through his association with architects such as Basil Spence; the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Britain Can Make It show in 1946 and the Festival of Britain, in 1951, were examples.

We are pleased to be showing a fascinating collection of early works by this highly versatile and innovative artist.

14th March - 18th April 2024



March 11, 2024