Artists Illustrating Boys' Fashions: Harrington Mann (Scotland, 1864-1937)


Figure 1.-- We are not sure about the identity of the children in Mann's 'Portrait of four children'. Mann painted about 1915. The children seem to be American, although we are not entirely certain. Mann had a New York studio so they well could be American. The clothing styles look more American than British to me. The boy in a black knickers suit with black long stockings seems to be about 10 years old. His big sister looks to be about 14 years old. She is wearing what looks somewhat like a gym slip with blouse. The two younger children are both very dressed up--the little girl (about 5 years old) is dressed in a white frock with white long stockings, and her older brother (about 7 years old) has on a fashionable blouse with large floppy bow, blue knee pants, and white long stockings obvious worn with supporters.

Harrington Mann was a Scottish artist in that he was born in Scotland. Abd some of his early work was set in Scotland. Much of his subsequent work, however were portraits painted in nLondon and New York with nothing to do with Scotland. He was born in 1864. He did not know his grandfather, but his grandfather's painting my have influenced his father who was an accountant. He began his art studies at the Glasgow School of Art. He also trained in Paris and London. He became part of the Glasgow Boys Movement. While Scottish, he left relatively few Scottish images. His early painting tended to be genre images, local fishing villages and related subject matter. His early work left us wonderful images of northern Britain, primarily Yorkshire rather than Scotland. He eventually turned to portrait painter, presumably because of the substantial commissions he could command. As he began to focus on portraits, he moves away to England and America. He is particularly noted for his depictions of children. Some are indeed very good. His use of color is especially notable. All are children of well go do families. So while they do not reveal much about Scottish boys clothing. They do show how children fromn wekthy families dressed in the late019th and eary-20th century. Some are more intimate than the Singer and Whistler portraits. His portraits are infuenced by Whistler and John Singer Sargent. He opened studios in London and New York where he developed a thriving business catering to wealthy clients.

Family

Harrington was born into a artistic family. His grandfather, John Mann (1797-1827), was a painter. .He was the second son of John Mann (18271910), a chartered accountant. His mother was Mary Newton Harrington (18341917), a novelist. He did not know his grandfather, but his grandfather's painting may have influenced his father who was an accountant.

Childhood

Harrington was born in Glasgow (1864).

Education


Training

He began his art studies at the Glasgow School of Art. He was not happy with the curriculum and methods there. He next studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London under professor Alphonse Legros. He then went to Paris where he painted under the tutalage of notedfigure painters (Gustave Boulanger and Jules-Joseph Lefebvre) at the Academie Julian for a brief period. While still a young man, he won a 2-year traveling scholarship to study in Florence and Rome.

Marriage

Mann Florence Sabine-Pasley (known as Dolly Mann), an interior decorator. They had three daughters, who appeared in several of his paintings, including Cathleen Sabine, an artist, who married Francis Douglas, 11th Marquess of Queensberry and then J.R. Follett.

Glasgow Boys

He became part of the Glasgow Boys Movement--part of the Glasgow School (1880s). The Glasgow School was a collectiom of iumpressive artists and designers that began to came together in Glasgow, Scotland (1870s) and flourished from the 1890s to around 1910. Representative groups included The Four (also known as the Spook School), the Glasgow Girls and the Glasgow Boys. They were responsible for creating the distinctive Glasgow Style. Glasgow was the center of an economic boom (late-19th century). The result was a distinctive contributions to the Art Nouveau movement. There were important comtributions in architecture, interior design, and painting.

Yorkshire Era (1880s)

Mann after returning from his scholarship study in Italy, settled in Yorkshire where his genre work focusing on local farming and fishing villages. It is at this time he became involved with The Glasgow Boys. The groiup had two primary beliefs. First, disgust with the then popular Scottish art milleu dominated by Edinburgh. Second, an interest in expanding the boundaries of Naturalism and Impressionism.Mann's early work was genre paintings depicting rural Yorkshire. This could not be more different than is subsequent portraiture workn are not sure how to attribure the shift, but presume it was the lucrative commissions associated with the portraits.

London and New York Era (1890s-1930s)

Mann shifted from genre painting (1890s). He began to develop a reputation as a portratist. HIs works exhibited a powerful sense of colour as well as design for decorating interior walls. He had a special interest in stained glass. He worked for the Scottish design firm of J. and W. Guthrie (Guthrie and Wells). He designed the stained glass for the west window of St Bartholomew's Church, Barbon (1893). His majpr focus began to be portrait painting. Presumably this was because of the substantial commissions he could command. As he began to focus on portraits, he moved away from Scotland to England and America. He opened studios in London (1900) and New York (19??) where he developed a thriving business catering to wealthy clients. He became one of the most popular society portraits, especially of children. His clients included members of the royal family. He was a founding members of the National Portrait Society (1911).Family

Body of Work

Harrington Mann was a Scottish artist, although none of his body of work is associated wuth Scotland. His early painting tended to be genre images, local fishing villages and related subject matter (1880s). Some of these are impressionistic, somewhat akin to Van Gogh. His early work left us wonderful images of northern Britain, primarily Yorkshire rather than Scotland. He then began shiting to portriture (1890s). Mann is particularly noted for his depictions of children. Some are indeed very good. His use of color is especially notable. Unlike his genre paintings, his potraits are more realistic. Some are done somewhat like genre portraits depicting family scenes, such as the children studying. Others are more formal portraits like 'Portrait of four childten' seen here (figure 1). All are children of well go do families. So while they do not reveal much about Scottish boys clothing. They do show how children fromn wekthy families dressed in the late-19th and early-20th century. Some are more intimate than the Singer and Whistler portraits. His portraits are infuenced by Whistler and John Singer Sargent.

Individul Paintings


Boy with red ball


Boy in blue smock


Portrait of four children (1915)

Mann's 'Portrait of four children' seems to be American in origin, although we re not entirely certain (figure 1). Mann painted the children in 1915. The clothing styles look more American than British. The boy wears a black knickers suit with black long stockings. He seems to be about 10 years old. His big sister looks to be about 14 years old. She is wearing a dress looking somewhat like a gym slip with a blouse, less formal than the other children. He seems and jacket and black long stockings. The two younger children are both very dressed up--the little girl (about 5 years old) is dressed in a white frock with white hair bow and white long stockings, and her older brother (about 7 years old) has on a fashionable blouse with large floppy bow, blue knee pants, and white long stockings obvious worn with supporters. Notice the age conventions for the black and white stockings. The clothing styles look like the mid-1910s in fashionable New York. British boys in London tended to wear knee socks rather than long stockings as in the United States. The children are seated on, or in front of, an elaborately tapestry-upholsterd divan with a very high back. This is formal, European furniture of the kind that only wealthy families could afford. My guess is that the picture was painted in New York. The hair styles are representative of those popular in the 1910s, except for the rather matronly hair style the older girl has.

Later Life

Mann died in New York.







HBC






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Created: 2:42 AM 4/7/2013
Last updated: 11:09 PM 2/24/2019