Harold Storey

Harold Storey (1888 - 1965)

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Harold Storey (1888-1965) - Artist

Harold Storey lived in Newton Mearns for over forty years. He was respected as a talented artist during his lifetime but his name is not much known in our community today.

Harold was born in Sowerby, Yorkshire on 12th January 1888, the eldest son of eight children, five sons and three daughters, born to Joseph Storey, an Officer of the Inland Revenue and his wife Rose Anna McKean. His father was later appointed as an Inland Revenue Officer in Aberlour where he died in 1898, aged 39. Following her husband's death Rose, moved south with her children and in 1901 was resident in Main Street, Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire. Now head of the family, she had found employment as an Innkeeper.

By 1905 the family were living at 73 South Portland Street in the Gorbals area and Harold, aged 18, was enrolled in evening classes in the 'lower school' at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA). He continued his studies, enrolling mainly at evening classes at the GSA, until 1912. To see a record of classes he attended click here. By 1908, he had obtained employment as an apprentice designer and in the 1911 census he was living with his family at 55 Eglinton Street. The records state that he was a designer of stained glass and his mother, who before her marriage had undertaken teacher training, was now employed as a teacher.

He does not seem to have won any prizes as a student, however, he was clearly respected amongst his peers as he was awarded the Gertrude Annie Lauder Prize, which was a fund designed to support young, aspiring artists in the Glasgow Art Club. Harold showed considerable talent, as he submitted an etching entitled '297 Virginia Place’ which was accepted for display at the annual exhibition of the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts (RGIFS) in 1912.  Indeed, 119 examples of his work, watercolours, oil paintings and etchings, were accepted for display at the RGIFS annual exhibitions until 1964, the year before his death.

His work was exhibited also at the Royal Scottish Academy over a period of 50 years, 38 items in all having been accepted.

The titles of his works reveal that he frequently painted landscapes, most often in the Newton Mearns area, and that he seemed consistently fascinated by atmospheric effects and changing patterns of light.

Two pieces of his work, 'A Bit of Old Glasgow' and 'In the Gloaming, Mearns'  were exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh in 1914.  He must have fallen in love with Mearns at this time because, except for a period of four years, he lived in Mearns from 1919 until his death in 1965.  The addresses were Knaprock (1919), 13 Glebe Lane (1930), Manse Lane (1937), 75 Main Street (1938) and 6 Tofts Crescent (1958).

A number of his paintings which have non specific titles such as ‘Winter Sun’, ‘Sunset After Storm’, ‘June Morning in the Woods’, may  be of Mearns, but listed below are those of his paintings which can be identified as his ‘Mearns’ subjects.

  • 1930 - Southfield House, Newton Mearns (watercolour); April Morning, Broom Road, Newton Mearns (watercolour); Landscape Under Snow, Newton Mearns (watercolour)
  • 1933 - The Brow of the Hill, Near Old Kilmarnock and Broom Crossroads, Mearns (watercolour); 
  • Robb’s Hill, Newton Mearns; Sunset over Broom
  • 1934 - Newton Mearns, May Morning in the Village (watercolour)
  • 1937 - Pollok Castle from Mearns (watercolour)
  • 1942 - Wee Malletsheugh, Newton Mearns-Winter Evening; Rob’s Hill, Newton Mearns - Winter Sunlight
  • 1943 - The Westering Sun,  Humbielee
  • 1947 - Mearns Castle, Early Autumn, Renfrewshire
  • 1948 - Winter in Newton Mearns
  • 1949 - Newton Mearns, Snow in the Village
  • 1950 - Snow in the Woods, Pollok Castle, Newton Mearns; Midsummer in Newton Mearns
  • 1954 - The Old House, Newton Mearns; Summer Day,The Tofts, Newton Mearns
  • 1961 -  Newton  Mearns

Examples of his work can be found today in  the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University, in Paisley Museum and Art Gallery, in Glasgow Museums Resource Centre at Nitshill, in Museums in Northern Ireland and Newport, Wales and his work frequently comes up for auction in sale rooms. Images of six of his oil paintings can be viewed online, courtesy of the Art UK at: https://artuk.org/discover/artists/storey-harold-18881965

Prints of some of his paintings can be viewed here. We are grateful to Mr Hugh McGilp for permission to include these.

Following his death in 1965, a number of his paintings were displayed and sold at Anderson's Garage, Ayr Road, Newton Mearns and are now in private ownership. Three of these pictures, “Victorian Postbox at Mearnskirk”, “Ayr Road, looking north towards Mearns Cross” and “The Village Main Street, looking north” are pictured below:


Harold was elected an Artist Member of the Glasgow Art Club on 23rd November 1928 but rarely served on committees. A fellow member was Alexander Proudfoot  R.S.A., formerly Head of the Department of Sculpture at Glasgow School of Art.  Proudfoot was given the commission to design and make the statue of Peter Pan which was unveiled in Mearnskirk Hospital in 1949. He was also responsible for designing and making  the bronze plaque  which can be seen on the Storey family headstone in Mearns Cemetery where Harold was laid to rest in January 1965.


The inscription on the collar reads:
“Spes Mea Christus”  - “Christ is my hope”


We wish to acknowledge the support of the following people and organisations in researching this article.
Theo van Asperen,
Librarian and Archivist, Glasgow Art Club

Freya Spoor,
Honorary Researcher to the Glasgow Art Club Archive, Glasgow Art Club.    

Tracey Hawkins
Assistant Curator - Collections
Glasgow Museums

Michelle Kaye, Archives and Collections Assistant 
The Glasgow School of Art

Roger Billcliffe, Art Historian

Alistair Anderson and Hugh MacGilp for permission to reproduce their paintings

Anne Robertson 2013

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