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Arts project leads to unexpected bonus
An arts project
run by Scarborough’s Civic Society has had an unexpected bonus for
one of its partners.
Scarborough Museums Trust is supplying the
pictures for Paint the Town, an innovative scheme dreamed
up by Scarborough Civic Society and run by the two organisations in
conjunction with Scarborough Borough Council and a grant of £9,900
from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The project will see high-quality
reproductions of eight locally themed artworks held in the Museums
Trust collection placed at outdoor venues around the town to
celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This heritage arts trail
will be in place next month, in time for the main 2012 tourist
season, and leaflets giving details of the trail will be available
free of charge from Scarborough tourist information
Sixteen paintings were originally shortlisted
by the Civic Society, and whittled down to a final eight by members
of the public, who voted via the Society’s website, the
Scarborough Evening News and by post.
Scarborough Museums Trust Chief Executive
Shirley Collier said the scheme has had an unexpected benefit for
the Trust. The publicity around it prompted the son of one of the
lesser-known artists, Carl Herman, to get in touch with information
about his father. Michael Herman lives in Cheltenham – and says,
unlike his father, he has ‘no artistic talent at all’.
“My father was born in Hull in 1887,” he says.
“His father was Danish and developed a successful Hull business.
The family name was 'Hermann': the Germanic second 'n' was dropped
during 1914-18. He attended Hymers College, Hull, and then the
Royal College of Art, of which he became an Associate. He taught
art, and then in 1914 volunteered for the 10th (Service) Battalion
of the East Yorkshire Regiment (the 'Hull Commercials'). He served
in Egypt and France, and won the Military Medal in a raid on German
trenches in 1916.
“He married in 1928 and settled in Scarborough
as the sales representative of his brother's Hull firm of Danish
bacon importers. He was a founder member of Scarborough Art
Society. In 1940 he helped form the Scalby Home Guard and was its
platoon commander. By the middle of the war painting was taking up
an increasing slice of his time: watercolours and oils of local
landscapes and town views, with some portraits.
“He was not a good collector of his own work.
He was generous with gifts of pictures to friends and relatives and
I hear periodically of ones still in the Scarborough area that were
given as wedding presents. I recall a striking wartime portrait of
Colonel Kitchin or Kitchen, who ran a hotel in Hayburn Wyke and
commanded the Home Guard battalion. As post-war financial
pressures increased he took on some commissions, including murals
at a number of local hotels, including the Holbeck Hall Hotel.
He painted a view of the cricket ground which
hung in the pavilion for some years but then disappeared.”
“We didn’t know an awful lot about Carl, so
this background information is extremely valuable,” says Shirley.
“And it would be wonderful to hear from anyone who knows the
whereabouts of the other paintings that Michael mentions.”
Carl Herman’s Scarborough South Bay at Night was
selected as part of the Paint the Town scheme along with
paintings by Muschamp, HB Carter, Atkinson Grimshaw, Booty, Roe,
Newbould and Carmichael. The selection criterion for the initial
group was to find landscape, seascape and townscape views of
Scarborough that, put together, would make a coherent heritage arts