Charles H. M. Kerr

Charles H. M. Kerr

1858 - 1907

Charles Henry Malcolm Kerr (also known as C. H. M. Kerr or Charles Kerr) was a British portrait, genre, landscape painter and illustrator of the late Victorian era perhaps best known for his illustrations for the adventure novels of H. Rider Haggard.

Born in London, one of six sons and two daughters of Robert Malcolm Kerr (1821-1902), a Judge of the City of London Court, and Maria Susannah Soley Kerr, Charles Kerr was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. On leaving Oxford he studied at the Royal Academy Schools and at the Académie Julian in Paris. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1884, including 'Wargrave Church', 'The Oldest Inhabitant', 'An Academy Picture' and numerous portraits.

Kerr also exhibited at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, Royal Society of British Artists and New English Art Club, as well as at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Manchester City Art Gallery and the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. In 1890 he was elected a Member of the Royal Society of British Artists.

He provided illustrations for books by H. Rider Haggard (Allan Quatermain 1887; She: A History of Adventure 1888; Allan's Wife & Other Tales 1889; Nada the Lily 1892; The Witch's Head 1893; The Wizard 1896; Black Heart & White Heart & Other Stories 1900), Robert Louis Stevenson (The Wrong Box 1899), Andrew Lang (editor) (The True Story Book 1893) and Arthur Conan Doyle (the Sherlock Holmes story The Sign of the Four 1890).

Kerr was amongst those invited to a dinner on 1 May 1889 at the Criterion Restaurant to congratulate James Abbott McNeill Whistler on becoming an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. He married Gertrude Lizzie Giles (1864-1941), who posed for his 1905 painting 'The Visitor', now in the collection of the Tate. She presented a number of his pictures to public collections throughout Great Britain from Hastings, Salford and Leeds.

Text courtesy of Wikipedia, 2023