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Artist Bio


Tom Carr was a landscape and figure painter born in Belfast in 1909. During his childhood, Carr attended Oundle School, receiving his initial art education from E. M. O’Rorke Dickey. In 1927, he studied at the Slade School of Art in London under Henry Tonks, before attending the British School while staying in Rome. In 1938, Carr decided to move back to Northern Ireland.

On an exhibition at the Redfern Gallery, London, in 1941, The Studio described Carr's works as ‘what photographers call ‘the soft focus,’ a kind of artificial or almost arty short sight’. Returning to a naturalism and muted realism in his subjects, Carr was associated with William Coldstream and Claude Rogers of The Euston Road School when he exhibited at the Storran Gallery in London.

Carr first contributed to the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1940. During the late 1950s, he taught at the Belfast College of Art. On a 1970 exhibition of watercolours at the David Hendriks Gallery, the Irish Times wrote ‘there is a freshness, brilliance, lyricism and superb technique…On the strength of this exhibition he is, quite definitely, the outstanding watercolourist in this county.’ A major retrospective of his work took pace in 1983 at the Ulster Museum, followed by the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin. Further exhibitions were held at the Eakin Gallery and Caldwell Gallery in Belfast. In 1993, Carr achieved honorary membership at the RHA, and was awarded an OBE.

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