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Alfred James Collister

Epithet: Artist (1869-1962)

Record type: Biographies

Biography: Alfred James Collister was the son of William Collister, a Douglas baker. He was educated at Douglas School of Art and is thought to have taught as a pupil teacher at Tynwald Street School, Douglas (now Fairfield School). Collister went on to study at the Royal College of Art in London and in the 1890s became the headmaster of the Redhill Art School, Surrey. From 1898 until his retirement in 1930, he was headmaster of the Wimbledon School of Art and the senior master at the Kingston-upon-Thames Art School.

Collister’s artwork is often compared to that of Archibald Knox, his personal friend and fellow teacher. Both specialised in watercolour landscapes and often accompanied each other on painting trips. Paintings can often be found by Collister and Knox of the same scene.

Although their general style and subject matter is superficially similar, differences may be seen between their works. Knox concentrated on landscapes where all superficial detail has been eliminated. In contrast Collister often produced watercolours with far more detail and this may be seen in his views of harbour scenes and shipping, a popular subject matter for Collister. His watercolours appear to occupy a transition between the detailed Manx views of J.M. Nicholson and the more distilled and abstract watercolours of Archibald Knox.

Occupation / profession: artist

Gender: Male

Date of birth: 1869

Place of birth: Douglas, Isle of Man

Date of death: 1962

Place of death: Clymping, England


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