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 Francis Humphrey W. Woolrych  (1868 - 1941)



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Lived/Active: Missouri / Australia      Known for: nudes, religion, landscape, genre, mural

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Ad Code: 3
Francis Humphrey Woolrych
An example of work by Francis Humphrey W. Woolrych
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Alice Avina, great granddaughter of Francis and Bertha Hewitt Woolrych:

Francis Woolrych was born in Sidney Australia to English parents. He studied fine arts in Paris, France. His wife, Bertha Hewitt Woolrych, was born in Alton, Illinois. She also studied fine arts in Paris, France, where they met and were married.

Francis Humphrey Woolrych's speciality was nudes, landscapes and portraits. He has a mural in the dome in the capital building named the "Wealth of the North" in Jefferson City, Missouri and in the St. Louis Library. He was noted in the 1904 Artists "Who's Who in America."

Bertha Hewitt was a wonderful artist; she was noted in 1904 artists "Who's Who in America," and "Women Artists of 1900's," and several other publications. Her speciality was portraits and still life in oil and pastel--her pastels were awesome! so life like, you could almost see them breathe!

They were my great grandparents, I grew up with their art on every wall, because my grandparents, Mr.& Mrs. F. H. Woolrych Jr. raised me.
Obituary of F.H. Woolrych dated November 18, 1941:

F. Humphrey W. Woolrych, 78, a widely-known St. Louis artist, died yesterday at Missouri Baptist Hospital after an illness of several weeks.

Broadly represented by landscapes, portraits, and murals, Mr. Woolrych maintained a studio for many years at 3529 Franklin Avenue, once the center of art in St. Louis. He was born in Sydney, Australia in 1854, going to Europe for study in the 80s. He studied at the Royal Academy of Berlin and later at the Beaux Arts in Paris. It was in Paris that he met Miss Bertha Hewitt of Alton, who later became his wife. Mrs. Woolrych, also an artist, died here in 1937. Following his years of study abroad, Mr. Woolrych came to St. Louis where he made his home.

Among his better-known works are a panoramic view of St. Louis Catholic institutions visited by Pius XII, then Cardinal Pacelli, which hangs in the Vatican at Rome, "The Ascension," which hang in the Delmar Baptist church, a portrait of John Hancock, which hangs in the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance company offices here, and a landscape that is part of the White House collection in Washington D.C. Other work of his is in the Public Library here, at the State Capitol at Jefferson City, in London, and Paris.

Mr. Woolrych was a member of the Helias Art Club of Berlin, the St. Louis Artists' Guild and the St. Louis Brush and Pencil Society.

He is survived by two sons, F. Humphrey W. Woolrych Jr. of the home at 3855 Hartford Street, and Edmund Hugh Woolrych of Sheffield, Alaska.
The following is from K.E. Clark whose source is paperwork filled in by the artist from the Art Department of the St. Louis Public Library:

Woolrych exhibited at the Paris Salon a "Portrait of Miss Naylor" in 1887 and a figure painting in 1888. In Paris, he attended the Ecole Colarossi, and the Ecole des Beaux Arts and studied with Raphael Collin and gustave Courtois. In Berlin, he attended the Royal Academy.

At the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Oregon, he won a bronze medal for watercolors. At the Sedalia, Missouri State Fair in 1913, he won a medal for oil portrait and another for watercolors.

He belonged to the St. Louis Artists Guild, the American Federation of Arts, the Hellas Art Society of Berlin, and the Brush and Pen Club. He did numerous architectural sketches, having begun this activity in France. His commissioned drawings of the Missouri state normal schools and Missouri University were represented at the Saint Louis World's Fair.

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