1865 - 1928

Harry Becker

Harry Otto Becker was born at 8 Eld Lane, Colchester, Essex in October 1865, youngest of four sons of the seven children of Dr Charles Otto Gustavus Becker (1827-6 November 1910), a doctor of medicine, and his wife Henrietta Margaret Schwalb von Schuber (1835-1903), only daughter of Charles, the Baron von Schuber of Darmstadt, Grand Duchy of Hesse, who married at St Mary-at-the-Walls, Colchester on 22 September 1857, the civil contract being previously performed at the High Court of Justice, Giessen, both were born in Germany and naturalised English. Dr Becker was on the staff of Ottoman General, Omar Pasha, in the Crimean War (1853-1856) during which time his eldest son, Charles Theodore Becker (1856-1942) was born in Hesse, Germany after which the young couple came to Colchester. At the age of 14, Harry enrolled in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and in 1884 finished his training in the Paris studio of Charles Auguste Émile Durand, known as Carolus-Duran (1837-1917), a portrait painter. He then, with the support of his father, returned to a studio at Valley Farm, Flatford, East Bergholt, Suffolk and from 1886 until 1894, Becker lived with his parents at The Minories, Colchester. He then moved to Beaumont Road, West Kensington, London, next to Earl's Court, where he had a studio until 1913, during which time he made various trips to East Anglia, Kent and Holland and was a member of the Ipswich Fine Art Club 1890-1928. He married in 1902, Georgina Maria Waddington, a 35-year-old artist then living at 71 Dieppe Road, Fulham and from 1913 they lived in rented accommodation at Old Hall Farm, later at 'Sunnyside', then at the Old Vicarage, all in Wenhaston, Suffolk. They were in poor circumstances, relying on Georgina’s small income from her position teaching art at a local school. Around 1926 they moved to the highly named Hinton Lodge, a remote farm cottage at Darsham, Suffolk where he remained until his death. Harry produced a series of posters for London Underground and his work was obsessive, producing thousands of drawings in pencil, charcoal, red chalk, or pen & ink. He exhibited at the Alpine Club Gallery; Royal Birmingham Society of Artists; Beaux Arts Gallery; Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts; Goupil Gallery; Walker Art Gallery; London Salon; Manchester City Art Gallery; New Gallery; Royal Society of Portrait Painters; Royal Academy; Royal Society of British Artists; Redfern Gallery; Royal Hibernian Academy; Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and the Royal Scottish Academy, his exhibits at the Royal Academy included in 1889 ‘Sixty miles to London’ and in 1897 ‘A Clover Field-Evening’. Harry Otto Becker was of Hinton Lodge, Darsham when he died at Ipswich Hospital on 10 September 1928, aged 62 when his wife was granted a civil pension of £70 for his work in the arts. His wife and daughter were taken 'under the wing' of Dorothy Loftus and her family at Southwold. Georgina Maria Becker of Little Priory, Wangford, Suffolk died at Southwold and District Hospital on 28 September 1957, aged 81.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from The Minories, All Saints', Colchester
1886 1324 Lorna, youngest daughter of Geo. Levick, Esq. - watercolour
1888 1212 'Heavenly hangs the broad sunflower... - watercolour
         1254 Dawn - watercolour
1889 1356 The Old Gate - watercolour
         1464 'Sixty miles to London, Joe!' - watercolour
1890 1348 Autumn - watercolour
1891 1178 The Mower - watercolour
1892 15 A February Day
         485 Spring
from 14 Aubrey Walk, Camden Hill, West London
1895 922 An Old Farmstead - watercolour
         1013 Hills and Dales - watercolour
1897 1222 A Clover Field: Evening - watercolour
from 1 Beaumont Studios, West Kensington, London
1906 903 Young Bull - watercolour
1910 811 Interior - watercolour
1911 380 Dutch Peasant Women, gathering potatoes

Works by This Artist