Sir Alfred East

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Alfred East was born in Kettering on the 15th of December 1844.  From an early age East loved drawing and painting and would sit on the window seat of the family's Lower Street house and draw carts, men and horses that passed in the street.

After leaving school Alfred East was sent to work in the shoe factory owned by his brother Charles.  In 1875 he went to Glasgow as the firm's representative, which gave him the opportunity to attend evening art classes where he was given the encouragement to pursue an art career.  After attending Glasgow School of Art, East went to study in Paris, having been attracted by the plein-air (outdoor) style of French painting at that time.

East returned to London in 1883 and in this year his paintings were seen for the first time at the RoyalAcademy annual exhibition.  He travelled extensively in Britain, Europe and even Japan over the next thirty years.

East also kept studios in London and Cornwall and his works reflected the inspiration found in the English landscape.  When not painting he spent his time writing and preparing lectures on his subject as well as publishing an instructive book on landscape painting (London, 1906).

In 1899 Alfred East was elected an Associate of the RoyalAcademy, and in 1913 a full academician, and throughout his life he was a member of many other art societies.

Sir Alfred East died in 1913, shortly after an art gallery was built in Kettering, in his name, to house the works that he had given to the town.

This page was added by Chris Leuchars on 06/03/2008.

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MLA Department for Education and Skills DCMS Learn with museums Kettering Borough Council