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Amy Watt 

(Plymouth, Devon 1900-1956 Chelsea, London)

The Sunbathers, St. Ives, Cornwall, c.1929  *SOLD*

oil on canvas laid down on board

26 x 34 cm.


with historic exhibition labels to the reverse, no. 60.


From the Estate of the artist's daughter, Mary Millar Watt (1924-2023).

Painted whilst holidaying in St. Ives, before moving there in the '30s, this charming beach scene very likely depicts the artist's family and young children, busy making sandcastles. St. Ives was already a well-established artists' colony, and it was no doubt moments like this that led the artist and her artist husband to move there not long after. 

Watt  was a busy artist, in a supportive marriage with fellow artist, John Millar Watt (1895-1975), whom she met whilst studying at St. Martin’s School of Fine Art. They married in 1923 and both worked for advertising agencies as staff artists. They moved to Dedham in Essex where they designed and built a modern studio  overlooking Dedham Vale, befriending the artist Alfred Munnings and his wife, Violet, frequent visitors to their home. 

Watt  became a member of the Ipswich Art Club from 1926-1935, before the  couple moved to St. Ives in ‘35. Amy and her husband became key members of the well-established artistic colony of St. Ives, taking on  the Chy-an-Chy Studio overlooking the harbour. They would have got to  know Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, who famously relocated from  Hampstead to St. Ives at the start of WWII. 

Over the course of her life Watt exhibited 19 works at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions between 1929 and her death in 1956, and also showed at the Paris Salon over the years, as  well as in local shows in Suffolk, Essex and St Ives. After the Second World War she and her husband moved to London and made their home in Chelsea, at 8 Walton Street.

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