Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pidgeon, Henry Clark

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PIDGEON, HENRY CLARK (1807–1880), painter in water-colours and antiquary, was born in 1807. Intended originally for the church, he eventually adopted art as a profession, practising as an artist and teacher of drawing in London. In 1847 he removed to Liverpool, where he was for a time professor of the school of drawing at the Liverpool Institute, gave private lessons, and drew numerous local scenes and antiquities. He became a member of the Liverpool Academy in 1847, and was secretary of that body during 1850. He was a non-resident member from that date till the reconstruction of the academy in 1865. Some fifty works by him were hung at the academy's annual exhibitions. Pidgeon joined Joseph Mayer [q. v.] and Abraham Hume (1814–1884) [q. v.], in 1848, in founding the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire. He and Hume were joint-secretaries till January 1851, when Pidgeon removed to London. To the society's publications he contributed many etchings and lithographs.

Pidgeon, on resettling in London, continued his practice as a painter and a teacher of art. He had been elected an associate of the Institute of Painters in Water-colours in 1846, and a full member in 1861. He was also president of the Sketching Club. From 1838 he exhibited in London four pictures at the Royal Academy, two at the British Institute, fifteen at the Suffolk Street Gallery, besides some twenty works at the Royal Manchester Institution, between 1841 and 1856.

He died at 39 Fitzroy Road, Regent's Park, on 6 Aug. 1880, in his seventy-fourth year. The only known portrait of Pidgeon appears in a group of the three founders of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire.

Pidgeon's work is broad in treatment and good in colour, and has much of the depth and tone of Varley. He was an excellent draughtsman. Many of his drawings are in the writer's possession. He contributed papers and drawings to the journals of the Archæological Institute, the British Archæological Association, and the Liverpool Literary and Philosophical Society.

[Proceedings Hist. Soc. of Lanc. and Chesh. v. 1, 2, 3, 4; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1884, p. 185; Catalogues of Liverpool Academy and Royal Manchester Institution.]

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