Born in Lincoln, Carr was an artist of limited ability (according to Tovey) but likeable personality, and his family lived initially at 22 Bay View Terrace in Penzance in 1891. They remained in Penzance until at least 1896, Carr participating in both the Opening Exhibition at NAG (with Landscape), and in 1896 with Breezy Day. The latter painting was sent to London for its purchaser, and in that year the artist's sending-in address was in St Ives, as it had been since 1893 when they had taken up residence at Albany Terrace there.
By 1901 Sydney and his wife Mary Louisa (nee Ridley) and their daughters had moved to Halsetown nearby. They moved back into St Ives in 1902 when they took up residence at Arkleby, Talland Road. Meantime Carr kept a studio, the Blue Bell Studio, until about 1911, and turned to a variety of creative activities including bookplates, photography, silhouettes, and generally exhibiting 'a zany character' in his work.
Tovey (2009) comments that Carr was one of the artists who sported a particularly 'comic eye' over the artistic community of St Ives, and for that reason becoming an especially revealing teller of the everyday lives of the artists through caricature and humour. After the Whitechapel Exhibition in 1902, Carr's name does not appear in listings. Tovey also reveals that Carr gave up the studio in 1911-12, reportedly going abroad. However he moved to Teignmouth in 1913, where he later died.
[Updated entry from Hardie 2009]
A correspondent in 2019 has reported that she came across a snippet on Carr from 1891, when he was described as showing 'a certain vigour ... marred by evident carelessness' and was presumed to have depicted Penzance sands (already largely vanished) 'as they ought to be' ['Art Exhibition at Penzance', Cornish Telegraph, 24.9.1891 p.8 col.1].
Painter, photographer; designer of bookplates
works and access
Likenesses: Tovey 2009 (p24, Photo of Sydney Carr by Cyril Ranger-Gull; & p69 by D Wintle/A Eggleston)
Works include: Landscape (1895); Breezy Day (1896)
NAG Opening 1895, May 1896 (picture sent to London buyer)
Census 1891, 1901
Graves British Artists 1880-1940
Johnson & Gruetzner (1975) Dictionary of British Artists;
Hardie (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn: Diary of a Gallery
(2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall
Tovey (2009) St Ives: Social History (numerous mentions, illus)
Whitechapel Exhibition catalogue (See Hardie 2009 for repr)
Whybrow (1994) St Ives (1901-10 artists' colony pp213-4)
The Year's Art 1894