Among the exhibits and pictures on display at Mansfield Museum are paintings by Mansfield’s most famous artist – Albert Sorby Buxton, writes Liz Weston.
The son of a Mansfield draper, Buxton was born in 1867.
He attended Queen Elizabeth Boys’ Grammar School but was more influenced by the School of Art.
He started to attend when he was eight years old and this was the beginning of a life-long connection.
After a spell as an architectural apprentice, Buxton attended the Slade School of University College in London .
On his return to Mansfield he began a 30-year tenure as headmaster of the expanded School of Art.
Settled with his new wife at Ravenscroft on Crow Hill, Buxton began to paint the pictures which are his lasting legacy.
His watercolours of old Mansfield are executed with a delicacy and charm which delight museum visitors to this day.
They comprise a superb – if idealised - record of a bygone Mansfield, pre-dating the industrialisation of the end of the 19 th century and are complemented by the various papers and books Buxton the antiquarian wrote.
His keen interest in the history of the town led Buxton, in 1918, to become the first secretary and guiding light of the Old Mansfield Society
Immensely proud of his home town, this extraordinary man was a founder member of both the Mansfield Photographic Society and the Amateur Operatic Society and was involved in the early years of the Folk House.
He designed the town’s War Memorial and its caskets for the scrolls presented to Freemen of the Town.
It was Buxton’s idea for the mayor to slice a 20lb gooseberry pie as part of 1927’s Fair Charter celebration and to send a similar pie to Mansfield in the USA.
Shortly after his death in 1932 Buxton’s widow bequeathed his watercolours to the museum, where they continue to enchant visitors on a daily basis.
The museum is not only proud to have Buxton’s wonderfully evocative watercolours of a now-vanished Mansfield on permanent display – it is also delighted to be able to mount a temporary exhibition celebrating the centenary of the Old Mansfield Society. a group that was of course founded by Buxton himself.