The Arts

Robert Wemyss

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Robert Wemyss was born on 5 March 1865, the son of John Wemyss, Inland Revenue Officer and Phyllis Pate.

He served his articles with Duncan McNaughtan. After completing his apprenticeship he worked as assistant for McNaughtan, for Burnet Son & Campbell where he was principally employed on railway work, for William Leiper, and for other unidentified firms before. He spent his holidays travelling and sketching in England, Scotland and Ireland. He commenced independent practice in Glasgow in January 1896, and was admitted LRIBA on 24 June 1912, proposed by John Bennie Wilson and the Glasgow Institute of Architects, which he had joined in 1907.

Sir James Guthrie

Helensburgh Hero - sir james guthrie

Sir James Guthrie was born on June 10, 1859 in Greenock, Guthrie, he was the youngest child of the Rev. John Guthrie, D.D., Evangelical minister of the Evangelical Union church, by his wife, Ann, daughter of Thomas Orr. Guthrie originally enrolled at Glasgow University to study law, but abandoned this in favour of painting in 1877.

Alexander Nisbet Paterson

Alexander Nisbet Paterson

Alexander Nisbet Paterson was born at Berkeley Terrace, Glasgow on 3 May 1862, the youngest son of Andrew Paterson and his wife Margaret Hunter.

Louise Scullion

Louise Scullion

Louise was born in Helensburgh in 1966. She graduated in 1988 with a BA (1st Class Hons) in Environmental Art, from Glasgow’s School of Art.

Colin Hunter

Colin Hunter ARA Helensburgh Heroes

Colin Hunter was born in Glasgow on 16th July 1841, and was the youngest child in a family of three sons and two daughters of John Hunter and his wife Anne MacArthur. In 1844, owing to failing health, John moved the family to Helensburgh where he opened a library and bookshop and became the post master.

Viola Paterson


Viola was born in Helensburgh in 1899, daughter of famous Glasgow Architecture and Artist Alexander Nisbet Patterson and Margaret Hamilton. Viola was one of two children, her brother Alastair Hamilton Paterson entered the army and eventually rose to the rank of Major General.

Christopher Orr

Artist Christopher Orr

“Christopher Orr's dark, diminutive oil paintings seem at first glance to have been salvaged from some alternate past. He conjures a dramatic lost world in which characters, scenes, and objects culled from popular midcentury print media seem to have strayed into the sublime landscape visions of a nineteenth-century Romantic.”

David Caldwell


David Caldwell was born in Helensburgh in 1977. After leaving school he studied painting at the Glasgow School of Art (1994-98) and further completed his education by attending in 2003 - 2005 The Princes’ Drawing School: The Drawing Year where he obtained an MA level diploma.

William Leiper

William Leiper

William Leiper was born in Glasgow on 21 May 1839, the son of William Leiper who and Jane Mellis. Educated by his father and at Glasgow High School, he served his apprenticeship with Boucher & Cousland from '1855-6' to about 1859 when he went to London, working for John Loughborough Pearson and William White for approximately one year each.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Whilst it is recognised and acknowledged that Charles Rennie Mackintosh was neither born nor resident in Helensburgh, he’ll be forever associated with the area thanks to his legacy of the Hill House.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born in Glasgow on 7 June 1868. He was the son of William McIntosh and Margaret Rennie. After leaving Allan Glen's School, he was apprenticed to an architect named John Hutchison, where he worked from 1884 until 1889. He later joined Honeyman and Keppie, a new architectural practice, eventually becoming a partner in 1903.

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