Although the Glasgow shipping magnate Sir William Burrell amassed one of the finest private collections of art in the world, there was one particular lesser-known artist who continually captured Burrell’s attention.
Although not a household name today, Joseph Crawhall (1861-1913) was extremely popular in the heart, mind, and collection of Sir William Burrell, a marvelously wealthy shipping tycoon who tirelessly collected art throughout his life. All told, Burrell collected no artist more extensively than Crawhall, amassing over 140 examples of the artist’s work.

Joseph Crawhall, “The Flower Shop,” ca. 1894-1900, (c) The Burrell Collection 2016

In an extremely rare opportunity, The Fleming Collection in London is now playing host to an exhibition of this collection of Crawhall’s paintings for the first time in 25 years. “Born in Northumberland, Crawhall has always been identified as a leader of the radical group of young Scottish painters, the Glasgow Boys, who revolutionized landscape painting in the 1880s,” the gallery writes. “In his maturity Crawhall won national and international acclaim with his watercolors and gouaches on linen of animals and birds. Crawhall is sparsely represented in the large national collections and few outside Scotland have heard of him, yet during his lifetime he exhibited alongside Degas and Whistler, the latter declaring the painter ‘the truest artist of the Glasgow men, and, as far as I know, the best in England.’”
“Joseph Crawhall: Masterworks from the Burrell Collection” opened on February 4 and will remain on view through March 12.
To learn more, visit The Fleming Collection.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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