Steven Spurrier (1878-1961)

Norman Wilkinson (1878-1971)

Stanley Anderson (1884-1966)

Henry Rushbury (1889-1968)

Heber Thompson (1891-1971)

John Farleigh (1900-1965)

Paul Drury (1903-1987)



   Presented by Penicuik Community Development Trust Scottish Charity number SC O37990  .



Until they closed more than thirty years ago, Alex Cowan & Sons of Penicuik made fine papers for artists and publishers worldwide, and over the generations had many connections with artists –Whistler is an example.  In 1944 Cowans commissioned some of the well-known artists of the day for an advertising campaign to remind potential customers of the firm’s tradition of high quality which had been disrupted by the war years.  Among the artists who contributed were Steven Spurrier, Norman Wilkinson, Stanley Anderson, Henry Rushbury, Heber Thompson, John Farleigh and Paul Drury.  The Cowan Advertisements of 1944 have been shown several times here in the Cowan Institute, Penicuik Town Hall, see This display now gives a hint of some of the other work of these accomplished craftsmen.



Steven Spurrier

(July 13 1878-March 11 1961)


Born in London, Steven Spurrier was apprenticed to his silversmith father, studying in the evenings at Heatherley’s School of Art.  He became a freelance magazine illustrator and a regular contributor to The Graphic, the Illustrated London News and later the Radio Times as well as many international newspapers and magazines.  He also produced posters for theatrical productions and illustrated books. He painted and was exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1913.  Working with pencil and paper or watercolours, his subjects included circus performers, street scenes, fashion, ladies of leisure, soldiers in uniform, golfers and Russian dancers.  with a pencil and paper or watercolours.  One of his early paintings was bought by the Empress of Russia.  During the First World War, he worked with the Admiralty developing Norman Wilkinson’s dazzle camouflage for ships.  In the nineteen thirties, Spurrier produced illustrations for Swallows and Amazons, the first book in the children's series by Arthur Ransome, published by Jonathan CapeRansome disliked them and they were rejected except for the dust jacket and map. Later editions had illustrations by Clifford Webb and then by famously by Ransome himself.

Steven Spurrier  Sketch for Glasgow demolitions 1926

Steven Spurrier sketch of BBC's Marconi studio Shepherds Bush


Steven Spurrier bookjacket for Swallows and Amazons1930

Steven Spurrier House of Commons, June 1941 1941

Steven Spurrier :

Steven Spurrier poster for London and North Eastern Railway, early 1920s

 Steven Spurrier Chips Spurrier

Steven Spurrier  Fitzroy Square

Steven Spurrier Lady Golfer

Steven Spurrier Seated Officer

Steven Spurrier Model admiring drawings

Steven Spurrier Girl reclining

Steven Spurrier Writing his play

Steven Spurrier The headscarf

Steven Spurrier After school

Steven Spurrier : Acrobats in Aberdeen 1943

Steven Spurrier, The circus orchestra

Steven Spurrier : The Circus Orchestra

Steven Spurrier : Ring Master 1943

Steven Spurrier : Priestley’s Good Companions filming at Shepherds Bush

Steven Spurrier :The Band Impresario

Steven Spurrier :The artist Frank Brangwyn at work

Steven Spurrier  for Messrs Cowan 1944



   Presented by Penicuik Community Development Trust Scottish Charity number SC O37990  .

Norman Wilkinson

(November 24, 1878 - May 31, 1971)

Norman Wilkinson was born in Cambridge in 1878. His father was a musician and Norman's initial training was musical as a chorister at St. Paul's Cathedral Choir School from age of 8 to 14 but he switched to Portsmouth Art School where his life long interest in the sea and his love of sailing was developed.  At first he worked as an illustrator and poster artist in London with his work appearing in The Illustrated London News from 1898 to 1915.

In 1911, for RMS Titanic, Wilkinson created a mural of Plymouth Harbour in the first class smoking room which perished when the ship went down, as well as a comparable painting, The Approach to the New World, which hung in the same location on Titanic's sister ship, the RMS Olympic.

In the First World War he served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as a lieutenant.  He was the first to propose the use of dazzle camouflage.  Since it was all but impossible to hide a ship on the ocean (if nothing else, the smoke from its smokestacks would give it away), it would be better to make a ship  more difficult to aim at from a distance. In his own words, he decided that a ship should be painted "not for low visibility, but in such a way as to break up her form and thus confuse a submarine officer as to the course on which she was heading".   After testing, Wilkinson's plan was adopted by the Admiralty, and he was put in charge of a naval camouflage unit in a basement at the Royal Academy of Arts. There, he and about two dozen artists and art students devised dazzle camouflage schemes, applied them to miniatures, tested the models using experienced sea observers, and prepared painting diagrams to be used by other artists at the docks (one was Vorticist Edward Wadsworth) in painting the actual ships. In early 1918 Wilkinson was assigned to Washington for a month, as a consultant to the U.S. Navy.

In the Second World War Wilkinson again worked on camouflage, this time with the Air Ministry in hiding airfields.  He painted a record of the major sea battles of the Second World War and presented the series of 54 paintings to the nation; they are kept at the National Maritime Museum.  Wilkinson was elected to the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) in 1906 and its President from 1936 to 1963, elected Honourable Marine Painter to the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1919, a member of the Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Society of Marine Artists, and Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Water Colours

Norman Wilkinson The steel screw steamer "Duchess of Argyll" off Isle of Arran 1906

Norman Wilkinson Poster for Great Northern Railway Booth Line cruises from Liverpool 1908

Norman Wilkinson poster  for the London & North Western Railway’s Holyhead-Dublin ferry 1905

Norman Wilkinson colour sketch HMS Theseus at The Dardanelles 1915

Norman Wilkinson Dazzle Ship 1916

Norman Wilkinson Submarine sounding, Dover Patrol: watercolour and guache on board 1917

Norman Wilkinson I will not abandon you”

 SS President Roosevelt stands by to rescue crew of stricken British freighter Antinoe, 1923

Norman Wilkinson poster for The Imperial Tobacco Company

This and several other Norman Wilkinson posters was printed by McCorquodales

 the Lancashire colour printing specialists related to Cowans the Penicuik  papermakers

Norman Wilkinson watercolour on cartridge paper: Corner Pool Stanley Water (River Tay

Norman Wilkinson Spring on the Spey –drypoint etching   circa1930

Norman Wilkinson, Site for Works

Norman Wilkinson Site for Works 1930


Norman Wilkinson Public Schools series for LMS railway 1938

Norman Wilkinson Tobermory:, railway poster for LMS and LNER,

 printed by McCorquodales related to Cowans the Penicuik papermakers

Norman Wilkinson Lanarkshire steel works, railway poster for LMS and LNER

SS British Progress - Carrying BP Petrol

Norman Wilkinson poster for The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company

Norman Wilkinson The little ships at Dunkirk 1940

Norman Wilkinson LMS locomotive in Persia taking supplies to Russia –NMSI collection 1943

Norman Wilkinson for Messrs Cowan 1944



Stanley Anderson


Stanley Arthur Charles Anderson, by Stanley Arthur Charles Anderson, 1934 - NPG 6056 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Stanley Arthur Charles Anderson was born in Bristol, son of an engraver who gave him his first training in heraldic engraving. He then studied in London at the Royal College of Art and at Goldsmiths' College.

Anderson was for many years a member of the engraving faculty at the British School in Rome and in 1938 was chosen by the British Council as the sole British representative of line engraving and drypoint at the Venice Biennale. During his career he won several awards and medals. He lived in Buckinghamshire, and is remembered and loved today for his detailed studies of country crafts.

Stanley Anderson:The Sister Smithsonian Museum

Stanley Anderson: Pan in Fulham 1932


Stanley Anderson: The Hurdle Makers

Stanley Anderson: Hedgelaying

Stanley Anderson: Sheepdipping

Stanley Anderson: Studies for Sheep Dipping 1934 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Stanley Anderson: Study for Sheep dipping

Stanley Anderson: What a piece of work is Man

Stanley Anderson: Toledo, from Castillo de San Servando 1927

Stanley Anderson: Eventide 

Stanley Anderson: pencil and chalk on paper. 'The Basket Weaver 1942 Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum

Stanley Anderson: Sheep Shearing 1942 Harvard Art Museum

Stanley Anderson: The Reading Room

Man Reading: Study for The Reading Room

Stanley Anderson: Study for The Reading Room

Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax, by Stanley Arthur Charles Anderson, 1932 - NPG 4214 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Stanley Anderson: Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax 1932

Stanley Anderson: The Old Tinker

Stanley Anderson: Study for the Hedger 1934

Stanley Anderson: Purbeck Quarry Men 1935

Stanley Anderson: The Chair Maker

Stanley Anderson: Making the gate

Stanley Anderson: Clamping spuds

Stanley Anderson: Loading hay

Stanley Anderson: Timm’s Smithy, Thame

Stanley Anderson: The saddler

Stanley Anderson: False Gods

Stanley Anderson for Messrs Cowan 1944


Henry Rushbury

(October 28 1889-July 5 1968)

Born at Harborne near Birmingham, Henry George Rushbury studied at the Birmingham College of Art where he specialised in stained glass design and mural decoration till 1909.  He then worked for two years as assistant to Henry A. Payne, R.W.S., on decorations for the chapel at Madresfield Court, Worcestershire, and elsewhere before coming to London in 1912.  Rushbury was encouraged by Francis Dodd to begin making drypoints and etchings.  He married  artist Florence Lazell in 1914 and became an Official War Artist.  Henry Rushbury joined the New English Art Club in 1917 and studied at the Slade School 1921 under Henry Tonks. His first one-man show was at Grosvenor Galleries in 1921.  Became R.W.S. 1926 (Vice-Pres 1944); R.E.; A.R.A. 1927, R.A. 1936. Illustrated Sidney Dark's Paris 1927 and Sir Rennell Rodd's Rome 1930.  Official War Artist 1940–5.  Hon. A.R.I.B.A. 1948.  Keeper of the Royal Academy 1949–64.  Knighted in 1964, Sir Henry is remembered as an accomplished watercolourist, etcher and drypoint artist who favoured architectural scenes.


Henry Rushbury  Forest of Brotonne 1920

Henry Rushbury Savoy Hill, home of the British Broadcasting Company,

 specially drawn for the Radio Times

Henry Rushbury  Seven Dials, London in 1744 circa 1930

Henry Rushbury  Fountains Abbey for London and North Eastern Railway 1932

Henry Rushbury  Edinburgh Castle, the Mound and Scott Monument from the East

Henry Rushbury  Edinburgh Castle, the Mound and Scott Monument from the East, railway poster for LNER and LMS 1934

The Walls of Gerona

Henry Rushbury  The walls of Gerona 1936

Henry Rushbury  St Mary le Bow 1943

Henry Rushbury  St Martins in the Fields 1944

Henry Rushbury  London devastation after the Blitz -for Alex Cowan & Sons papermakers 1944

The building hoarding centre front reads HENRY RUSHBURY




Heber Thompson


Ernest Heber Thompson was born in Dunedin in 1892. He was an artist in black and white, and a cartoonist. After teaching at the Dunedin School of Art he enlisted in the First World War in 1915, and served as a sergeant in the 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade. He completed a large number of cartoons while serving in France from 1916 to 1917. Thompson was badly wounded at Messines in June 1917 and sent to England where he settled. An Army scholarship of 1919 enabled him to study at the Slade with Tonks and Wilson Steer, then etching with Frank Short at the Royal College of Art and later attend the Central School of Arts and Crafts. A regular prizewinner, he was engraving finalist, Prix de Rome, 1923 and subsequently a faculty member 1941-66. Heber Thompson travelled widely in Europe and exhibited prolifically at home and abroad. He was elected ARE in 1924 and RE in 1939. He was an air raid warden in WW2, and subsequently commissioned to portray his fellow members of the police and civil defence who had won bravery awards. He taught art until the 1950s at various London schools and died in 1971.


Heber Thompson Cartoon : What the blazes 1916

Cartoon - Bread cutting as a drill movement

Heber Thompson Cartoon - Bread cutting as a drill movement, 1916

Heber Thompson Cartoon 1916


Heber Thompson Cartoon 1916

Cartoon - "Hullo! Anybody hurt there?"

Heber Thompson  Cartoon - "Hullo! Anybody hurt there?", 1916

Heber Thompson How are you this morning?" Matron Wilson 1918

Heber Thompson A Suffolk yeoman 1923

Heber Thompson: The diligence party 1927

Heber Thompson: Narcissus 1928


Heber Thompson: Gypsies before Gerona 1930

Heber Thompson: Corsica


Heber Thompson: Interval


Heber Thompson: fragment from unknown continental scene; Lake district


Heber Thompson:: Corsican gypsy 1947

Heber Thompson for Messrs Cowan 1944




John Farleigh

 (16 June 190030 March 1965)

also known as Frederick William Charles Farleigh


Paul Drury

(14 October 1903-19 May 1987)

Alfred Paul Dalou Drury was born at Brockley in Kent on 14 October 1903, the son of the sculptor Alfred Drury, ARA.  Playing with his brother Oliver in the summer of 1913, he lost the sight of an eye to an airgun pellet. He attended Bristol Grammar and then Westminster School where he excelled in the study of music and art. His father’s standing in the art world gave young Drury the chance to meet some important artists of the age.  In 1921 he entered Goldsmiths’ School of Art in south London, beside William Larkins, Graham Sutherland, Alexander Walker, Edward Bouverie-Hoyton and Robin Tanner. He began etching in 1922, influenced by the work of 19th century pastoralist Samuel Palmer and the etcher Frederick Griggs.  Drury taught at the Central School of Art, Heatherley’s and then returned to teach at Goldsmiths’. He married the painter Enid Solomon (1910-96) in 1937. War broke out again in 1939 and with only one eye Drury was not much use to the military. Unlike Sutherland, he dismissed the idea of becoming an official war artist. Instead, he spent his war carrying out valuable work in the plaster workshop of Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton. At the war’s end, Clive Gardiner reassembled his hand-picked team at Goldsmiths’ and began what has been described as ‘The Golden Age’. But winds of change in the art world were already blowing and creating friction behind the scenes. And the reforms to education in the 1960s shifted the focus firmly from teaching to administration and threw up a new breed of art educator. Nonetheless, Drury eventually became Principal of Goldsmiths’ in 1966, because of his age, a role that only lasted three years. Mostly known for landscapes such as September and Nicols Farm, Drury’s output was primarily portraiture of the highest quality. Although he exhibited regularly at both the RA and RE, he remained largely disinterested in self-promotion, particularly in the post-war period. Drury was President of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers 1970-75. Despite their long friendship, in the late 1970s, he and Sutherland had a serious falling out over Tom Keating and the Samuel Palmer forgeries affair. Drury executed 92 plates between 1922 and 1975, but his work is not widely known, partly because of his wide variety of other interests and natural reticence. His later printmaking shows a highly imaginative mind with an inherent sense of design. These qualities were, on occasion, informed with a delightful sense of humour. Paul Drury died on 19 May 1987.


Paul Drury: Nicolls Farm 1928

Paul Drury: First Italian head 1928


Paul Drury: March morning 1933

Paul Drury: On Box Hill –working proof 1933


Paul Drury: French cemetery 1938

Paul Drury Carel Weight  (the artist) 1938

Alfred Drury, by Paul Drury, 1943 - NPG 5458 - © estate of APD Drury (Paul Drury PPRE)<br />

Paul Drury: Alfred Drury 1943

Alfred Drury, by Paul Drury, 1944 - NPG 5459 - © estate of APD Drury (Paul Drury PPRE)<br />

Paul Drury: Alfred Drury 1944


Paul Drury: Girl engraving 1947

Paul Drury: Tired student 1949

Paul Drury: 'Mickleham Yews lll.' 1950

Paul Drury: 'The Obstinate Hen’ The Reluctant Hen No.2 Dinan Set  1958

Paul Drury  for Messrs Cowan 1944




Steven Spurrier (1878-1961)

Norman Wilkinson (1878-1971)

Stanley Anderson (1884-1966)

Henry Rushbury (1889-1968)

Heber Thompson (1891-1971)

John Farleigh (1900-1965)

Paul Drury (1903-1987)



   Presented by Penicuik Community Development Trust Scottish Charity number SC O37990  .