Theodore Major was born in Wigan in 1908, and had two brothers and four sisters. His father and mother both worked in a cotton mill. Theodore left school at 13 and worked in a tailor’s shop, but poor health eventually led to his losing his job. He early on suffered three bouts of rheumatic fever.
Major insisted that he was essentially self-taught as an artist. He did, in fact, attend evening classes at Wigan Art School, with some life-room experience at Southport, eventually studied full-time at Wigan and did some part-time teaching there and at adult education classes. In 1952 he founded and for some years ran the Wigan Art Club in a room above the Crofters’ Arms. The small, informal group did not paint there, but discussed work completed elsewhere or chose a topic for discussion.
It was while he was teaching at the art school that Major met his future wife Kathleen, daughter of a local general practitioner. After they married in 1940, to help support them and their only daughter, Mary, born in 1944, Kathleen taught at an infant school. About 1950, they settled in Appleby Bridge, near Wigan, which remained their home for the rest of their lives.
Major began to establish a reputation as a Lancashire artist. He drew cartoons for the Daily Mail and the Manchester Guardian and showed with the Manchester Academy, with Margo Ingham’s Mid-Day Studios and the Crane Gallery. He shared exhibitions with his close contemporary L.S. Lowry and had Arts Council-sponsored solo shows at Carlisle and Blackburn Art Galleries.
Died Ormskirk, Lancashire 17 January 1999
March 19, 2016
Theodore Major – VIEW WORK – Sold