1901 - 1941

Tom Van Oss

Thomas Willem Van Oss, was born at Walberswick, Suffolk on 14 March 1901, second of the eight children of Salomon Frederik van Oss-Meijor, known as Steven Frederick van Oss (1868-1949), journalist and banker, and his wife Winifred Agnes Davidson (10 September 1876-18 April 1965), daughter of Thomas Davidson [q.v.], who married at Hampstead in 1896 and divorced in 1925. In 1902, his father decided to return to Holland with his family, but in 1909, Thomas entered Lynams School, now Dragon School, in Oxford where his drawing master called Higginson, who was killed in the Great War, had a great influence on him. In 1911, Thomas was living at the home of his maternal grandparents at Walberswick with his mother and two siblings, Marcus Dunbar 14, born Cricklewood, London and Colne James (1902-1935), born The Hague, Holland. In 1914 his father decided to continue Thomas's education in Holland as a potential successor to take over his newspaper 'Haagsche Post'. In 1921, Thomas entered Leiden University in Netherlands to study law but gave this up, and in 1923 tried working as an artist and writer for his father's paper but they fell out over a cartoon printed without his father's permission. Thomas then concentrated on his art, making a small living, and exhibited in Plainfield, U.S.A. in 1926, 'Daily Express' Young Artist in 1927 and in 1928 exhibited at the Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo. Tom married at Chelsea, London in June 1930, Favell Margaret Bevan (1901-1996), whom he had first met in the Hague where her father was an English chaplain, and they had three children. They lived in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France for a year before returning to his mother's home town of Walberswick, where his mother's late brother artist Allan Davidson [q.v.], had also lived. In 1936 the family moved to Old Corner House (now The Hermitage), Deddington, Banbury, Oxfordshire and Tom was sufficiently prosperous to open a London Studio at Avenue Studios, Sydney Street, Chelsea, but in 1939 his mother Winifred was still living at Millcroft, Millfield Road, Walberswick. A landscape and portrait painter, who took over his uncle's Allan Davidson's studio on the river Blyth, near the ferry to Southwold, where he painted primarily landscapes and portraits. He also exhibited at Cooling & Sons Gallery; Royal Society of Portrait Painters; Royal Academy; Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Walker Gallery, London 1930-1939, from London 1930 and 1936 and from Walberswick in 1935. A member of Ipswich Art Club 1934-1936, exhibiting from Coopers Hill, Walberswick in 1934, 'Portrait of Allan Davidson, R.O.I.', 'Carpenter' and 'Carnations, Stocks and Sweet Peas' and in 1935, two works 'Proceeding out of Cromarty Harbour at Dawn' and 'Portrait of A. E. Coppard'. During the Second World War, a major in the Royal Engineers and whilst inspecting coastal camouflage in a patrol boat off-shore near Boston, Lincolnshire, his boat struck a mine when he, and 15 others, were killed on 3 November 1941. His wife married again, at Reading in 1951, Arthur Luard Pears (1894-1958), a retired naval officer, and she died at Salisbury on 14 August 1996 and their grand-daughter Angela Van Oss, is a well known contemporary artist. He signed his works 'Tom Van Oss' or 'Van Oss'.

Works by This Artist