Heath Old Boys Association


Obituaries


Arthur Comfort: –1935 [Heath ?–1935]

Arthur Comfort was an English master wood engraver at The Graphic in London and an art teacher in Halifax.

He was born in London on 11 November 1864, where he attended the Graphic School of Wood Engraving, and afterwards worked as an engraver for almost 15 years at The Graphic, a national illustrated journal founded in 1869 by William Luson Thomas. During that time, he achieved some renown for his watercolours, especially of flowers, and his work was exhibited in Brussels and at the Royal Academy in London. He was regarded as one of the few engravers of high rank at the end of the nineteenth century in Great Britain along with Messrs Charles Roberts, William Biscombe Gardner and Charles Frederick Ulrich. He became the chairman of the international Society of Wood Engravers but, with the development of half-tone and screen blocks for illustrations, wood-engraving became obsolete and he left the journal and moved north.

He settled in Halifax at Swires Road, and taught art at the local Heath Grammar School, Sowerby Bridge High School and Hebden Bridge Grammar School. He joined the Halifax Art Society, and developed some skill with pen and ink sketches, and mezzotints. The Halifax Evening Courier published two books of his sketches, Sketches of Old Halifax in 1912 and Ancient Halls in and about Halifax in 1913; and also published A Spring-Time Saunter: Round and About Bronte Land by Whiteley Turner in 1913 which he illustrated.

He died that year aged 71 at the Royal Halifax Infirmary. He was survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

He is recorded as Art Teacher at Heath Grammar School from at least the early twenties (there are substantial gaps in our records between 1906 and 1924) until the summer term of 1935.

With thanks to Rob Sumner [Heath 1975–1982] for finding this on Wikipedia.