William Blamire Young:
English Australian artist .
known as Blamire Young, was an English Australian artist. Young was born at Londesborough, Yorkshire, the second son of a family of 12. His father, Colonel Young, came of prosperous yeoman stock. Blamire Young was educated at the Forest School, Walthamstow, where he received a classical training, and going on to Cambridge University specialized in mathematics. That he completed his course with no better than third-class honours was no doubt partly caused by his discovery of the print collection in the Fitzwilliam Museum, and his association with the Cambridge Fine Art Society. It had been intended that he should become a clergyman, but Young felt that he had no vocation for that work and obtained the position of mathematical master at Katoomba College, Katoomba, New South Wales, which had been founded by John Walter Fletcher in 1884. Young remained at the school for eight years. In his spare time he practised painting, and meeting Phil May received some instruction from him in painting in oil. In 1893, he returned to England and after working for a few months under Hubert von Herkomer, became associated with James Pryde and William Nicholson in poster work. In 1895 Young returned to Australia and with the Lindsay brothers and Harry Weston did some excellent posters. But the field was limited and many years of poverty followed, during which a certain amount of writing was done for the press. He began exhibiting at the Victorian Artists' Society, but sales were few and the one-man show was then unknown. During his visit to England he had married Mabel Sawyer, an expert wood-carver, and while the lean period lasted Mrs Young helped to keep the house going by executing commissions for Melbourne architects. It was not until 1911 that the appreciation of Young's art really began to be shown. In that year he held an exhibition at Melbourne of small pictures, some of which had similar qualities to the Japanese coloured wood-cuts of the eighteenth century. Sales were good, partly because the prices were low, and the artist was sufficiently encouraged to hold an exhibition at Adelaide. This was both an artistic and a financial success, other shows followed in Melbourne and Sydney, and at last, in his fiftieth year, Young's reputation as an artist was established. In 1912 he sailed for Europe and after a stay in Spain settled in England. Eighteen months later in August 1914 his first show, opened at the Bailey Galleries. All the arrangements had been made and the pictures hung when war broke out. Young had been a good marksman in his youth, and for three years worked as an instructor in musketry and machine-gunnery. Immediately after the war he took up his painting again and exhibited at the Academy and the Royal Society of British Artists. Back in Australia in 1923 Young established himself at Montrose in the hills about 20 miles east of Melbourne. He acted as art critic for the The Herald and held occasional one-man shows.