From the Collection of Deborah and Gerald Pedros
Robert A. Kirkham came to London, Ontario from England in the early 1880’s. Other young artists also began to arrive at that time from England, Hamilton and Winnipeg, such as F. M. Bell-Smith, H. N. McEvoy, S. K. Davidson, Frank Lynn, J. C. Rollston and E. A. Crossman. The influence of this group on the London art scene lasted until the early 1890’s. Unfortunately the status quo politics in the Western Art League “made life intolerable for young artists”. It started when F. M. Bell-Smith left for Toronto in 1888. “Without the strength and leadership of Bell-Smith, it appears that there was a mass exodus of professional artists from this city over the next few years. Judson, Seavey, McEvoy, Lynn, Kirkham, Rollston and Crossman all left, leaving only the aged Griffiths, J. R. Peel and S. K. Davidson.”
Quotes are from Nancy Poole’s book, “The Art of London”.
There is also a listing for this artist in Russell Harper’s biographical book, ”Early Painters and Engravers in Canada”.