Alfred Palmer...
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Alfred Field Palmer, ROI (1877-1951) was a painter in oil, pastel and watercolour of landscapes, portraits, figure subjects and still lifes, and he was also a sculptor. He was born in London and was educated at Dulwich College. Palmer studied at the Royal Academy Schools and later at the Academie Julian in Paris. Early in his working life he maintained a studio in Paris and painted widely in France, Spain, Germany, Italy and North Africa in the years before World War I. In 1906 he married the artist Mary Croom and they settled in Fordwich, near Canterbury in Kent. During World War I he served in the Censors Department and he undertook a number of portraits of prisoners of war interned in Wiltshire, often using pastel or red chalk as his medium. After his return to Kent his daughter Francesca became his principal model and she is featured in the beach scenes he painted in the period 1919 to 1925, undertaken mainly on the coasts of Kent and Belgium (he had a studio in Brussels). In 1925 he travelled to South Africa and spent much of the next 15 years living in Durban. He ventured far into the South African bush and was noted for his paintings of the Bantu and Zulu peoples. Palmer spent the period 1940-47 in England, settling at Swanage in Dorset, during which time he painted a series of works of stonebreakers at Purbeck. After the war Palmer was back in South Africa, working mainly in the Cape area. He returned to Britain near the end of his life and died in London.

Alfred Palmer exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1911, and also with the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (elected a member), the Royal Society of British Artists (elected a member 1912), at the Paris Salon and other leading galleries. His work is held in a number of public collections, including Canterbury City Council Museums & Galleries, Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum Bournemouth, Kent Police, Swanage Museum, other public collections in Dorset, and by several pubic galleries in South Africa. A retrospective show of his work was held at Dulwich College in 1987.

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