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Artist’s works go on display in South Shields Museum 50 years after his death

Artist Ernest Black's grandson Michael Black and wife Linda at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery.
Artist Ernest Black's grandson Michael Black and wife Linda at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery.

The work of a South Tyneside artist have on show - more than 50 years after his death.

The latest exhibition at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery ‘The Importance Of Being Ernest’ showcases a number of painting by Albert Ernest Black.

Ernest Black.

Ernest Black.

Mr Black was born in North Shields in 1882, but by the time he was 24, and married to his wife Marion, the pair lived in the Red House, Westoe Village, South Shields, while he worked in his father’s tailoring shops.

In 1933 he retired and devoted himself to painting until he died in 1963.

The Workers’ Educational Association’s (WEA) local history class - which is held in the Ocean Road museum - have spent the last academic year unearthing Mr Black’s creations as part their studies.

Malcolm Grady, tutor, said: “This exhibition on the art works of local artist Ernest Black is a direct result of a WEA local history class.

One of Ernest's water colour paintings.

One of Ernest's water colour paintings.

“The class explored the relationship between the local history of the time through official records such as maps, census returns, photographs, newspaper articles and the work of local Victorian and Edwardian artists depicting images of South Shields and the River Tyne.”

Mr Black’s relatives, who are Northumberland based, were invited to see his paintings, which were off familiar locations throughout the borough, and haven’t been on display since 1956.

Malcolm said: “In 1956, an exhibition of 39 of his paintings was held at the South Shields Museum and Art Gallery and was so popular that it was extended.

“Many of the paintings exhibited here are painted from photographs held by South Tyneside Libraries. These are displayed alongside each painting. On close examination, you will be able to detect small differences of detail in his paintings from the original photographs - an artistic licence no doubt.”

Ernest's family and members of the WEA local history group.

Ernest's family and members of the WEA local history group.

This exhibition, which is on until February, is dedicated to the memories of Bill McKee and Moira Dearden, past members of the local history class.

Exhibition of paintings by artist Ernest Black at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery.

Exhibition of paintings by artist Ernest Black at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery.

A painting of the Leas with Tynemouth in the background.

A painting of the Leas with Tynemouth in the background.