Sunday, March 6, 2011

Alyn Williams (1866-1955)

The Welsh-born artist, Alyn Williams, was one of the most successful
miniature painters of his generation.  He studied art at the Slade
School in London, and also under Courtois in Paris.  Although he set
up his practice initially in London,  in later life he split his time
between New York and London.   

Lady in a black hat Signed and dated 1898

 He became the first President of the
Royal Miniature Society, a post he held for 50 years, exhibiting there
regularly.   He also exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1890-1904,
the Paris Salon and in America. One of his most famous pupils was
Mahala Theodora 'Dora' Webb.

Unknown lady Signed and dated 1900

 His miniatures of little girls are invariably insipid.  

Unknown little girl Signed and dated 1900

  Williams' first wife, Kathleen, was
from Derbyshire and the couple lived in Kensington.  Later in life, he
had an American companion, Mrs. Anna Dorsey Williams, although it is
not known whether or not they actually married.  It seems from
official documents that the artist intended to live permanently in New
York, but in the event, he returned to Britain.

His portrayal of
women utilizes harsh brushstrokes and bright colours.

Violet Hammersley Signed and dated 1906

 He painted many
wealthy and influential people, including members of the Royal Family.
 He always signed his work in full on the front, invariably with the
date,  occasionally adding his address to the backing card. 

King Edward VII Signed and dated 1908

Alyn Williams was a prolific artist with a long career.  

Unknown boy titled 'Smiles' Signed and dated 1921


  1. I have a signed miniature by PRMS Alyn Williams dated 1910 of a distant relation. The painting has been stuck on cardboard and is split completely down the middle of the painting. Can it be repaired and how much is it likely to cost

    1. Anne Eyre, great nice of Alyn WilliamsNovember 25, 2015 at 2:45 PM

      Could you give me any information as I am Alyn Williams great nice and am trying to trace records and contacts

  2. Dear Anonymous, This is interesting and we were preparing a post on this subject. Many miniatures during this period had the ivory stuck firmly to the backing board. A bad idea, as the difference in the coefficient of expansion between the two materials could cause the painting to become permanently bent or even cracking the ivory.
    You will have to find a conservator specializing in miniatures to look at it. It is possible to repair depending on the curvature of the ivory right at the crack edge.
    Likely cost could be £150 to £200. See our posting 2009 November 19th century miniatures 1821-1850. Scroll down until you come to Daniel Saint 1831 and look at this miniature which has has a crack repaired right down the middle. Not perfect as this crack was difficult to repair but this excellent miniature deserved to be conserved

  3. I believe Alyn died 28 July 1941. He is on the England & Wales, National Probate Index. I do not have the Will but on index administration with Will was granted to his wife Anna Vernon Dorsey Williams. She also died in England 6 March 1945. Though I don't have a marriage certificate the marriage of Alyn Williams and Anna Vernon Dorsey was in the Washington Post January 18, 1913 under Licensed to Marry and on January 19, 1913 page 3, stating that they had married the previous morning in the brides home.

  4. Anne Eyre, great nice of Alyn WilliamsNovember 25, 2015 at 2:42 PM

    I am searching of any records or information. Have only just
    Discovered my relationship to hkm