Fred Yates Legacy

When Fred died, his view of the world and his attitude to art was continued in the work of his daughter. Mary had her own style but it was closely linked to the philosophy of her father; that nature was there to be revealed and celebrated. Her sculpture, still life, portraits and landscapes capture the essentials other subject and enable others to share in her delight for the ever changing atmosphere, light and colour around her in the hills and valleys of the Lake District.

Other aspiring artists also benefited from Fred’s assistance. Mary’s friend Beryl Clay was tutored by Fred and exhibited alongside both him and Mary. Beryl went on to become a member of the Lake Artists’ Society and exhibited at their Summer Exhibitions.

Joan Yates, Fred’s granddaughter, in turn became an accomplished pastel artist. She also became the family archivist and it is only thanks to her and her relatives careful concern to preserve the family papers that the story of the Yates family can be told.

Sketches from letters

From notes for an the Exhibition at the Armitt Museum, Ambleside, November 2001 to February 2002. Lynda Powell, Curator, Armitt Museum. September 2001.

The book about the Yates family is available as a pdf e-book.

Click on the image
on the left, to view
0r download it.


This project was funded with the aid of a Research Leave Grant and a Small Research Grant in the Creative and Performing Arts from The Arts and Humanities Research Board, Whitefriars, Lewins Meade. Bristol, BS1 2AE

Thanks also to:

The Yates Family: Mrs Joan Fox, Celia Fox and Mrs Hilary Pickford, for loan of and access to much archive material, and unstinting help and support throughout the project and without whose help the work could not have been completed.

The Armitt Museum, Ambleside, for access to material held by them, and on loan to them for the Yates exhibition, November 2001 to February 2002. 
Lynda Powell, Curator, Armitt Museum. September 2001. for help in the earlier stages of the project and for permission to use extracts from her notes for the Yates exhibition, November 2001. 

Mrs Margaret Fuller, who lived next door to Hart Head Cottage at Keens Close as a child.

Michelle Kelly, Curator, Armitt Museum 2002 to date.

St. Martins College, Ambleside, for access to the surviving drawings by Fred Yates on the walls of ‘Millet’ House.

In the United States of America: Paul Hershey, for much help in researching the Yates in America. Alfred Harrison, North Point Gallery, San Francisco for access to his archive of material on Fred Yates, and his contemporaries in California. Steven Muzylowski, for information on Arthur Atkins. Birgitta Hjalmarson for background information on the artists of California, in her book ‘Artful Players’. Alfred Baxter for information on the early days of the Bohemian Club, San Francisco.

My wife Gilly, for remarkable patience with me during this research, for practical help with transcrip tion and typing, valuable research assistance in certain sections of the project, particularly with regard to the re-discovery and preservation of the surviving Fred Yates drawings at St Martins College,and not least for hospitality to many Yates family visitors during the project.

John Hodkinson Hart Head Cottage, Rydal, Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9LT October 12th 2002.