Hiking by James Cowie ready to hang small framed print
24 x 24 cm (print size 10 x 12.5 cm) brown wooden frame handmade in Scotland mounted small print of Hiking by James Walker Tucker, in the collection of Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle. Art print to accompany the 2017 exhibition True to Life | British Realist Painting in the 1920s and 1930s, shown at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh.
After the First World War there were government initiatives to improve the health of the population, and independent organisations focused on health and efficiency – such as the Sunlight League and the New Health Society – emerged. Exercise and sunbathing became popular; holiday allowance became enshrined in law.
By the 1930s the Girl Guides, formed in 1910 as a separate organisation from the Boy Scouts, was a global phenomenon. The three young women shown here, dressed in light hiking gear and calmly considering their map, are fit and independent, and the subject is a specifically modern, moralising one. The Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle purchased this painting directly from the artist in 1936.
James Walker Tucker was a British artist, 1898–1972.