KNOWLAND, Dennis George

1918 - 1985

Barge on the Blyth

Dennis Knowland was born at 28 Carysfort Road, Stoke Newington, London, London on 14 January 1918, one of the seven children of Albert James Knowland (1885-1984), a tobacconist & newsagent, and his wife Maria Maud née Sturley (1887-1949), who married at Shoreditch in 1908. After encouragement in his painting from Ronald Dunlop [q.v.], in 1935 Dennis attended Chelsea School of Art where he was taught by Graham Sutherland and Robert Medley, winning a prize for Landscape painting. In 1939 living on the Barge Yacht 'Martin Luther' at Blackshore, Southwold, Suffolk with his future wife Irma Nixon-Smith (11 June 1914-2011) and siblings, Albert Garibaldi Walter (19 May 1910-1945), a journalist; Victor Henry Irving (10 May 1913-1997), an artist and his wife, Irene Lennox McFarlane née Cocks (15 March 1918-2003), an artist; Anthony Stephen (22 March 1919-10 Decemeber 2006), university student; David A. (26 December 1923-1941), an art student and two others. He served in the Suffolk Regiment during the Second World War seeing his army service in Scotland being lent a studio by Anne Redpath (1895-1965), at this time he also worked on book illustration including ‘Bevis at Home’ by Richard Jeffries. After the war he obtained a government grant to continue his studies and won a place at Camberwell School of Art where his style developed being tutored by many of the great names of the period, including Sir William Coldstream (1908-1987), Sir Lawrence Gowing (1918-1991) and Claude Rogers (1907-1979). A well known painter in oils of landscapes, figure subjects and interiors exhibited with the London Group and New English Art Club, and showed extensively in the provinces and abroad. Dennis married the wife of his late brother Albert, at Kensington, London in 1946, Irma Nixon-Smith (11 June 1914-2011), a costume designer and book illustrator and their daughter Mary continues the family tradition as a potter and fine painter. Between 1949-1972 he examined for London University and taught art in Oxfordshire and maintained a riverside studio at Walberswick, which was still in the family's possession long after his death at Oxford on 27 September 1985, Irma died at College Farm Cottage, Little Minster, Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire on 26 July 2011. A memorial show was held at the Central Library, Oxford in 1987.

Works by This Artist