1883 - 1952

Walter Ashworth

Walter Ashworth was born at 33 Ellsmere Street, Castleton, Rochdale, Lancashire on 31 August 1883, son of John Ashworth, a shoemaker, and his wife Maria née Tatum (1846-1887), who married at Rochdale on 16 November 1869. In 1891, Walter was a 7-year-old student, still living at Ellsmere Street, Castleton with his 45-year-old father John, now widowed, and siblings Henry Lodge 21, Annie 19 and Albert 4, all born in Rochdale. Walter commenced his working career as a cabinet maker at Rochdale but in 1911, a 27-year-old student at the Royal College of Art lodging, together with 29-year-old art student Wilfred Norton (1880-1973), at 8 Lilyville Road, Fulham. He married back at Rochdale Parish Church on 9 August 1911, Alice Else Healey (1886-1958), daughter of Sam Healey of The Crescent, Drake Street, Rochdale and after their honeymoon they came to live at Ipswich where they had a daughter, Joan Healey Ashworth (20 May 1914-25 May 2003). Walter was an art master in Ipswich and a member of the Ipswich Art Club 1913-1916 and exhibited from Oakdene, 60 All Saint’s Road, Ipswich, three oil paintings 'In the Meadows, Tuddenham', 'Looking over Rochdale' and 'Springtime, Playford' and four watercolours 'A View across the Gipping', 'A Bend in the Gipping', 'Quiet Evening, Sproughton' and 'Breezy Morning, Sproughton'. In 1914 he exhibited an oil 'A Portrait' and two etchings 'Mother Earth and the Elements' and 'Chalk Pit by Moonlight' and continued to exhibit four works in 1915 and six in 1916 'The Goose Step, Xmas 1915', 'The Borderland of Lancashire and Yorkshire', 'White House', 'The Valley of the Stour' and two entitled 'Study of a Head', he also exhibited from this address at the Royal Academy. Walter was a conscientious objector during the First World War and by 1919 had returned to teaching. In 1926 he became Principal of Coventry Municipal Art School and was chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Society of Artists but in 1939, a patient in Highlands Nursing Home, St Nicholas Street, Coventry. He exhibited at the Warwickshire Society of Artists and again at the Royal Academy and was a war artist during the Second World War. Modernist stone reliefs designed by Ashworth in the mid 1930s, adorn the walls of Coventry Technical College. Walter Ashworth died at 72 Stoneleigh Avenue, Coventry on 20 September 1952, aged 69 and wife Alice died at 'Aldhurst', Whitstable Road, Blean, Kent on 7 February 1958, aged 71. His pictures held by Coventry Art Gallery and Museum include street scenes and the hospital and Cathedral after bombing raids and his self-portrait 'Through the Mirror' was exhibited at the Coventry and Warwickshire Society of Artists' in September 1949. A relief by W. Ashworth ‘The Five Senses, depicted as Five Naked Children’ dated 1931 sold at Christie’s on 2 July 1992.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from Oakdene, All Saint’s Road, Ipswich
1914 1427 Chalk Pit: Moonlight - watercolour
from 12 Stoneleigh Avenue, Coventry
1935 1687 Statuette - beechwood
1942 650 The City Centre, Coventry 1941 - watercolour

Works by This Artist