Artists' Seat

Artists' Seat Grid Reference NY 396 171

Many artists have been, and still are, inspired by the Ullswater valley. The Artists’ Seat celebrates three such artists, JMW Turner, John Glover and Ann Macbeth.  The original idea for the seat came from Patricia Cook, herself an artist, living in Patterdale.

The Artists

Ann Macbeth

Ann Macbeth, born in 1875 in Bolton, was a leading student in Fra and Jessie Newberry's Glasgow School of Art. She later became Head of Embroidery there. Her strong design motifs complemented the furniture and stylish new interiors being created by, amongst others, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

After winning the silver medal at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Turin, Italy, in 1902, she gained a European reputation. Her influence, through her inspired teaching with its emphasis on design, can still be felt today. She wrote several books for children and adults to propagate her view that everyone is capable of creating attractive and useful objects. 

Ann Macbeth lived for many years in both Hartsop and Patterdale and her work can be seen in Glasgow, London and here in St. Patrick's Church, Patterdale. One of her leading students, Grace Melvin, helped to set up the School of Art in Vancouver, thus spreading  Ann's influence to Canada and other parts of the world.

Detail of "The Nativity" showing Helvellyn and Patterdale, completed 1946.  Patricia Cook's photo of the original.

Patricia Cook's photo of the flyleaf of the All Colour Book of Art Nouveau by Warren Geoffrey 

John Glover

John Glover was born in 1767 in Leicestershire and later had great success as a landscape painter. He was very much influenced by the sixteenth century French artist Claude Lorrain and became known in Europe as "the English Claude". 

He travelled widely and lived for some years in a house called Blowick on the shores of Ullswater. In 1831 he arrived Tasmania and began to paint the island's very different scenery and aboriginal people. He became famous as the founder of Australian landscape painting. 

John Glover died in 1849 at his home in Tasmania. The house was called Patterdale in memory of his time in the Lakes. 

Ullswater Early Morning circa 1824. © Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Hobart from John Glover's Garden 1832

JMW Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner, born in 1775, is regarded as the greatest of English Landscape painters because of his handling of light, colour and atmosphere. He first visited the Lake District in 1797 and this is when most of his paintings and sketches of the area were produced. He returned for short visits in 1801 and 1809. 

One of his most enthusiastic patrons was the Earl of Egremont, who had close connections with the Lake District. Turner painted a view of Cockermouth Castle for him.

In Turner's most famous paintings, such as The Fighting Temeraire his work became more impressionistic and reflects a world changed by the Industrial Revolution. John Ruskin, influential critic and Lake District resident celebrated this later work. Turner died in 1851.

Ullswater 1791 by JMW Turner ©Tate Gallery

Ullswater looking north with Patterdale Old Church 1802. Courtesy of

By Patricia and Tim Cook

Thanks to our sponsors and supporters

The Hadfield Trust, in honour of their sponsor the late Mrs Kathleen Bibby, a Cumbrian Artist

Cumbria Waste Management Environment Trust

Dalemain Estates

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