William Wilson (artist)
William Wilson (1905–1972) was a Scottish stained glass artist, printmaker and watercolour painter. He was a member of the Royal Scottish Academy. He was awarded an OBE.
Wilson learned stained glass making in an apprenticeship with James Ballantyne, and by studying under Herbert Hendrie. In 1932 he was awarded a Carnegie Travelling Scholarship by the Royal Scottish Academy, which he used to study at Edinburgh College of Art and to travel in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. In these travels he made pen and ink drawings of the Italian city of Venice, and the Spanish cities of Madrid, Granada, Ronda, and Toledo. He studied printmaking under Adam Bruce Thomson. In watercolour he belonged to the Edinburgh School. He studied further at the Royal College of Art, London, producing etchings and engravings of subjects such as "Loch Scavaig, Skye" in the 1930s.
Wilson taught stained glass making at Edinburgh College of Art. He started his own studio in 1937, making stained glass windows for Canterbury Cathedral and a number of Scottish Churches. He slowly became blind through diabetes. As well as religious stained glass, he made secular pieces such as "The Irish Jig" which was originally fitted in his Edinburgh home.
Wilson made the "exceptional" windows at the Morningside North parish church, Edinburgh, now a community building. He made the East window for Ardwell church, and a window for Dunino church, Fife. He made 16 windows between 1952 and 1961 for Brechin Cathedral, Angus, Scotland. He is responsible for four windows in the chapel of the University of St Andrews, though given his increasing blindness the final two may have been partly the work of his assistants.
Wilson's largest surviving set of windows is at Craigiebuckler church, Aberdeen. The windows form a single scheme covering the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible. One of his last windows is his 1965 stained glass image of St Columba in the Abbey Church, Iona.
Honours and awards
The University of St Andrews describes Wilson as "one of Scotland's great artists, a master of the arts of printmaking, painting and stained glass". Bourne Fine Art note that "in all he did, his style was very distinctive".
- Royal Academy of Arts: William Wilson. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Bourne Fine Art: William Wilson Biography. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Eric Liddell Centre: Stained Glass. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Bourne Fine Art: William Wilson: Venice. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Wilson's fine drawing of the Spanish city of Toledo. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- British Council: Visual Arts Collection: William Wilson. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- National Galleries Scotland: "The Irish Jig". Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Ardwell Church: Church Details. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Dunino church, Fife. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Brechin Cathedral. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- University of St Andrews: The Stained Glass of William Wilson. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Craigiebuckler Church, Aberdeen. . Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Iona: Abbey Church. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- National Galleries Scotland: William Wilson. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- Scran database: Scottish Fishermen, William Wilson. Scran ID: 000-000-478-599-C. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- London Gazette. 8902, 31 December 1960.
- Guichard, Kenneth (1977). British Etchers 1850-1940, Robin Garton, London.