James Watterston Herald (1859 – 1914) Works from the Collections

Date: 22 January - 23 April 2022
Forfar Meffan Museum and Art Gallery

James Watterson Herald is one of the most heavily represented artists in the Angus Council Collections, cared for by ANGUSalive Museums, Galleries and Archives, this exhibition showcases a large collection of his popular works which feature Angus scenes in watercolours and pastels.

Born in Forfar in 1859, the son of a shoemaker, James Watterston Herald went on to become a recognised figure in 20th century Scottish Art. His emphasis on decorative colour, subtle tone and harmony of composition created delicate figurative and luminous landscapes which are delightful to view.

Herald was educated at West Burgh School, Forfar and later at Forfar Academy. At the age of 14 he attended the art class at the High School of Dundee, under the direction of the art master, Mr Kennedy, who regarded Herald as a most promising talent and awarding him the prize for excellence in drawing. By the time he had completed High School, Herald had acquired a reputation for having quite a skill for drawing, especially capturing caricatures of local celebrities and customers who frequented his father's shop. These sketches formed the basis of his early experiments in watercolour and oil paintings that he completed from memory due to a shyness of drawing in company.

Moving to Edinburgh in 1884, he frequented the exhibitions that were now readily available to him and produced an impressive body of work mainly inspired by the streets and closes of Edinburgh's Old Town. It was during this time that Herald's work began to meet with critical acclaim. Several of his works were exhibited by the Royal Scottish Academy. Returning to Angus around 1890 Herald developed techniques and perfected the themes that would become his trademark such as the crowd scenes, public roups and circuses, as well as the many harbour motifs.

Today the popularity of James Watterston Herald continues to grow and his works can be found hanging on the walls of many homes and galleries throughout his native Scotland and beyond.


Opening hours can be found here

The Toad by J.W. Herald

The Toad by J.W. Herald