New exhibition of paintings of Haddington in the 1940s and 1950s at John Gray Centre
Local artist Dorothea Nimmo Smith painted more than a hundred watercolours of Haddington in the post-war years. Some scenes are still familiar today, such as the High Street in the early 1950s. Others, like the cottages in St Martin’s Gate, depict a Haddington now much changed. Her paintings are often enlivened by local figures: a shepherd herding a flock past the Poldrate, a boy playing with a gird, a group of women outworkers waiting to be picked up at St Lawrence for their day’s work in the fields.
As part of the Haddington 700 celebrations, Haddington’s History Society, working with the ELC Museums Service are mounting an exhibition of the best of her paintings at the John Gray Centre. The exhibition will be held from October 6th to November 21st this year. It will allow visitors to contrast her paintings of the period with photographs taken by Society members of the scenes today.
The exhibition focuses on Dorothea Nimmo Smith’s life and career as an artist. She was born in 1889, one of the daughters of the Rev R. Nimmo Smith, minister of St Mary’s from 1875 to 1906. She died in Edinburgh in 1962. She exhibited with the Society of Scottish Artists and the Society of Artist Printmakers. One of her works is in the National Gallery of Scotland’s collection.
The artist was skilled in watercolour and other media, chiefly wood block printing. Family and friends have generously lent examples which have not been exhibited in the town before.
The Society would like to record any memories that older residents may have of the artist. Sketching street scenes, she must have been a well-known figure in Haddington. Some of her images were painted from the windows and gardens of friends. If you have any memories to share, contact the East Lothian Council Museums Service or call into the John Gray Centre Museum.
A Sense of Place: Paintings by Dorothea Nimmo Smith of Haddington in the 1940s and ‘50s.
October 6 to November 20 2018
John Gray Centre Museum, 15 Lodge Street, Haddington, East Lothian, EH41 3DX, 01620 820690
Open Monday, Tuesday and Friday 10am to 5pm,
Saturday 10am to 4pm and Sunday 1pm to 4pm.
Admission FREE and includes activities for families