Arbuthnot was born in Surrey, his mother being a motivated amateur artist. He moved to the St Ives area in 1940, having been a keen photographer in earlier years (see Buckman), and remained locally for a decade. Known now mainly as a photographer, he was an accomplished painter of watercolors as well, especially landscapes.
Though he had studied under C A Brindley, J W Fergusson, W P Robinson elsewhere, in Cornwall, he became a pupil of Charles Walter SIMPSON and was elected to the Royal Institute of Watercolour Painters in 1942. Latterly he lived and worked at La Houle, Jersey.
Tony Copsey writes: Malcolm Arbuthnot (born Malcolm Lewin Stockdale Parsons, 1877, Cobham, Surrey- died 1967) was a pictorialist photographer and artist.
In 1907, he joined the Brotherhood of the Linked Ring, an organisation founded in 1892 by Alfred Maskell and others dissatisfied with the ethos of the Royal Photographic Society exhibitions, with the aim to promote naturalistic and aesthetic photography as an independent art. From 1914, Arbuthnot ran a portrait studio in London's New Bond Street, in the early 20th century photographing many celebrities including the actress Lillah McCarthy, the pianist Harriet Cohen and the poet Robert Nichols. His
studio, along with many of his works, was destroyed in a fire. He was a friend of George Bernard Shaw. Also in 1914, he was one of the signatories - the only photographer - to the manifesto of the Vorticism movement published in the first issue of the literary magazine BLAST. He combined his interests in photography and art by using gum and oil pigment processes, after joining the Linked Ring making increasingly controversial anti-naturalistic gum prints. After World War I, he gave up photography in favour of painting, working in oils, watercolours and gouaches. [See Wikipedia for notes on this information].
Noted portrait and free-lance photographer; painter in oils and watercolour; sculptor
works and access
Works include: By The Sea (photograph); Quiet River, Summer Field, Summer Trees; Robert Malise Bowyer Nichols (latinotype mounted on photographer's card, circa 1915); Harriet Cohen (arly 1920s)
Access to work: National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk) Primary Collection; Photographs Collection, V & A; Salford Art Gallery
Fine Art Society
misc further info