Charlesworth pictures

posted in: Appeals 46

My correspondent Chris Charlesworth (who recently sent info about his Durban postcard page) has asked me to publish a request about the paintings of his uncle, the artist Geoffrey Charlesworth. Chris wrote:

I’m collecting photos of paintings by my cousin Geoffrey Terence Charlesworth, , born 17 July 1930. Died April 2009. I’ll create an album of them on my website.  Geoffrey was a reclusive man and died alone in his Point Road Flat. He lay for many days and, when discovered, the Coroner was unable to trace relatives.

You see, his twin Barbara had died some months before. Eventually they traced his younger sister, Merle, in Johannesburg. He was survived by Merle & elder brother John. John subsequently passed away in Cape Town, in August 2011.

If anyone out there owns his any of his paintings, please can they take photos of them & email them to me ?


Added 19/10/2018: A Facebook Group celebrating the life and work of Geoffrey Charlesworth has been set up and your’re welcome to visit.


The Charlesworth children in 1942, Geoffrey is on the left in front.

Please contact me here, if anyone can help.

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46 Responses

  1. Allan Jackson
    | Reply

    William Paterson replied to this query via e-mail on 15 October, 2011.:

    I was saddened to read of Geoffrey Charlesworth’s death and in such lonely circumstances. He attended the Durban Art School and won the Emma Smith Travelling Scholarship enabling him to study in Britain. (I think he worked his passage over there on a tramp steamer).

    He and I visited the extensive mangrove swamps at the head of Durban bay once, before the SAR / SAS concreted it over for a marshaling yard. He did extensive sketches, I recall, which he later worked up into a (rather ‘wriggly’) painting which, at one time, hung in the Durban Art Gallery. When I enquired about it many years later, it appeared to have vanished without trace.

    On one of my upstairs study walls in Ireland hangs a small painting I did of a view inland from Puntan’s Hill, not far from the Charlesworth family house, which I visited

    Footnote: Some years ago Allan Jackson of FAD kindly managed to trace Geoffrey when he was living at the Tudor Rose Hotel in West Street; however I never did manage to make contact with him.

    • Chris Charlesworth

      I often met Geoffrey near or outside The Tudor Rose during my teens. Had many chats with him. Even though we are cousins we differed age by 28 years. Durban was my best as a teenager and spend countless trawling those streets, meeting all sorts of cool Durbanites.
      The Roxy, Oxford & Capri were my best !!

    • Adrian

      Hi Chris I have a Antique shop in Durban and have 2 of Charlesworths works in my shop. They are quite large works and brilliantly executed

    • Chris Charlesworth

      @William Paterson

      Hi William. I remember he had a studio, quite near the Tudor Rose, but on the opposite side. Loved the smell of turpentine in the place. He shared it with another artist. Can you remember who that other person was ?

    • William Paterson

      Fear I can’t Chris. William

    • Bronwen Heath

      Allan, I have a painting, dated 1950, which I believe is of The Umgeni River from the (?)Berea, looking westwards.
      Where is Puntan’s Hill? Could it be the same view as your sketch?

    • Allan Jackson

      The following message came in for Bronwen from William Paterson:

      Hi Bronwen
      Easiest way to decribe Puntan’s Hill locality:
      Go up Trematon Drive then, instead of turning left along Ridge Road, continue over the ridge and swing left
      once the other side is reached. The road forked at that point and I seem to remember that the
      Charlesworth’s house was on the upper fork road – not far along. Quite modest.
      Regards, William

    • Chris Charlesworth

      Hi Allan …. how do I upload a jpg to this thread, please ?

      EDIT: Chris Charlesworth sent me this postcard to attach to his post re the Charlesworth painting. Chris perhaps you can elaborate on the postcard and which painting you are referring to.

    • Allan Jackson

      Hi Chris
      Send it to my email address on the Contact page and I’ll put it up for you.

  2. Allan Jackson
    | Reply

    Charlie Paxton replied to this query via e-mail on 16 October, 2011.:

    Paintings by Uncle Geoff

    I came across this while looking for something else, I have a painting that Uncle Geoff gave me as a wedding present which hangs in our cottage. Will take a photo and email it.

    Charlie Paxton (nee Robyn Charlesworth)

  3. William Paterson
    | Reply

    Following on from my earlier message about Geoff, may I suggest that it is particularly important that Geoff’s mangrove picture is located and kept safely, as a record of what that part of the Durban bay looked like in about 1950?


  4. William Paterson
    | Reply

    Helo Charlie. No I have no idea on who the other artist was. William

  5. Doug. Story
    | Reply

    Hello Bill-many years have passed since we last met.Geoff ,David Scot Mcnab and I had an exhibition in 1956 or thereabout which was opened by Nils Anderson.I met up with Geoff & David a few years ago and sad to say not long afterwards they both died.
    Geoff was in my humble opinion a very fine talent but as is so often the case an artists’ life is by no means an easy one.I have a beautiful painting of a couple of children on a veranda dominated by a large oak tree painted in Ceres. Two other paintings – one of Capetown parliament gardens and another the subject of which I forget I gave to a friend in Durban, a chap by the name of Gordon Tod. I will make an effort to get pictures of all three to Chris Charlesworth as soon as possible. I also have a little oil sketch I did of Geoff in his family home in a Puntans Hill which I will also send.

  6. Mark feuilherade
    | Reply

    Hi , I read with interest about the life of Geoffrey Charlesworth. I was married to David Scott Macnab’s daugther many years ago. I met Geoffrey on many occasions as he was a great friend of my late father in-law. Geoffrey gave us a painting which he painted in 1983. It was of Bastille day in Paris. the painting still hangs in my living room, and just today I was looking at it and decided to Google details of Geoffrey’s whereabouts. I was not aware that he had passed away in 2009. He was a great talent..

    • anthony starkey

      Dear Mark
      I am organising an exhibition at the Durban Art Gallery to celebrate the centenary of the Emma Smith scholarship. Geoffery Charlesworth was a winner of the award in 1951. I would like to include examples of his works on the exhibition and was wondering if you would be prepared to loan works.Do you live in Durban?
      Anthony Starkey
      Honorary Research Associate
      Durban University of Technology

  7. chris charlesworth
    | Reply

    To William, Doug and Mark……
    Thank you for taking time to comment on Geoffrey’s life, talent and creative character.
    I am “surfacing” in 2013 after a difficult 2012. I can breathe again.
    Apologies for non-contact. Allan will give you my email address.
    Best wishes

  8. William Paterson
    | Reply

    Any news of Geoffrey Charlesworth’s mangrove painting yet?

  9. Chris Charlesworth
    | Reply

    Hello William
    I currently live in England (have done since 2002). I did try contacting the Durban Art Gallery as a start, via email, with no reply.
    I seem to remember the painting. Can’t recall if it was in a relatives home or the painting hanging in the Art gallery’s stairwell, during the 60’s & 70’s, as one ascended to the first floor ?

  10. David Scott-Macnab
    | Reply

    Hello Chris,
    My father was, I believe, your uncle Geoff’s closest friend. They studied together in London, and exhibited together in Durban. Furthermore, Geoff was my godfather. I have a large quantity of memorabilia, photos etc and several paintings in my possession. If you contact me by email I’ll be happy to discuss sharing this with you.

    • Allan Jackson

      David, I have forwarded your address to Chris.

    • anthony starkey

      Dear David where, and what, did your father and Geoffery Charlesworth study in London? I am researching the recipients of the Emma Smith scholarship for an exhibition to celebrate the centenary of the award and Charlesworth was a recipient of the award in 1951. regards Anthony Starkey

  11. Eric Bolsmann
    | Reply

    I am lookingh for a photo of Geoffrey Terence Charlesworth. Can anyone assist?
    Eric Bolsmann

    • David Scott-Macnab

      Have you found a photo Eric? I have a number of photos of Geoff Charlesworth taken over a number of years from the early 1950s until the last time I saw him in about 1994.

    | Reply

    I was completely mixed up – i thought Geoffrey Lockwood and Geoffrey Charlesworth were the same person…

  13. Ian Varkevisser
    | Reply

    Geoffrey Charlesworth now there is a name I have not heard mentioned in 50 years. I was born in 1953 and our family home was in Puntan’s Hill, the Charlesworth’s were our direct neighbours until the late 60s. Fans of the arts but sadly not of sports. This though was probably due in part to the fact that as youngsters my 2 brothers and I and our friends used to play cricket and soccer in our backyard and on occasion no doubt a stray cricket ball broke a Charlesworth window. I do recall it used to be quite a mission to reclaim balls that strayed into their property as they were not always willingly returned. It is sad though to hear about him ending up as a recluse but interesting to see that there is a certain amount of interest in his work. Good luck in your hunt to track down his work. I will be interested to see the album sometime.

  14. C.F.Charlesworth
    | Reply

    Hi Everyone
    I have created a Facebook page to celebrate Geoff’s life.
    Please join the group and add media.
    Blessings from Chris

  15. Ken Cosgrove
    | Reply

    Hi Chris,
    I clear,t remember you however I doubt if you would remember me.
    I am the middle son of Geoff’s twin sister, Ken.
    I’ve just come upon this page by shear chance. For obvious reasons I do have a number of his paintings.
    Not sure if this site is still alive

    • Chris Charlesworth

      Hi Ken … it’s been 2 years since I’ve checked page. I’m so sorry I missed your message.
      I have a photo of yourself & Neville, in about 1964, at Nagle Dam. Your backs are toward the camera tho.
      Please contact me.

  16. William Paterson
    | Reply

    Adriaan (Antique shop owner who has reported that he has two of Geoff’s paintings). Is one of those paintings of Mangrove swamps? If so it may a sketch for the missing mangrove picture he painted. RSVP. William

    • Chris Charlesworth

      Hi William … Sorry, I missed this post of yours. Is there any chance of contact details for Adriaan, please ? I relise that I am 2 years too late, but he may have recoded details of the buyer.

  17. Hazel Cuthbertson
    | Reply

    Good day. Interesting information about Geoffrey Charlesworth! I have updated his dates of birth and death on the art auctioneer Strauss & Co’s database.One of his works “Apple with Racing News” is going on Strauss & Co’s September online auction. The auction opens on 10 Sept and closes on 17 Sept if anyone is interested in making a bid.

    • Chris Charlesworth

      Thanks Hazel. Will check out the website now 🙂

  18. Mary Jane Bowman
    | Reply

    Hello Chris.
    I do have a large oil painted in 1956 of the rippling water at low tide in Durban Bay and the old woiden pier with a Red Coat standing upon it; three seagulls on the sandbank near the water.
    I could email a pic if it to you.
    I love it and strangely, my aunt had it in Cape Town and I inherited it when she passed on in 1989.

    • Chris Charlesworth

      Hi Mary Jane
      Thanks for the contact.
      There is a Facebook page for you to Join & upload a picture of your painting.
      Would love to have yor input.

      Best Wishes
      Chris Charlesworth

  19. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    It is a pity we do not have any examples of Charlesworth’s paintings on this post which is about him. Photos of any paintings could be sent to Allan Jackson for posting.
    I personally did not know of Geoffrey Charlesworth but did pick up that he lived somewhere in Puntan’s Hill. Here is a quote extracted from an earlier post “On one of my upstairs study walls in Ireland hangs a small painting I did (sic) of a view inland from Puntan’s Hill, not far from the Charlesworth family house, which I visited.” With this clue I looked up Charlesworth in the 1957 Durban Directory and there is Mrs A F F Charlesworth 49 Banfield Crescent. Now I know Banfield Crescent because my late sister lived in Banfield Crescent for many years and it is in Puntan’s Hill. It is off and behind Trematon Drive / Ridge Road. I well remember that the back of my sister’s property faced inland and being elevated one could see quite far into the distance. I would take a guess to say that Mrs A F F Charlesworth was some relation, perhaps his mother, and that was the family home. The 1957 Directory would put Geoffrey at 27 years of age then.

  20. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    I intercepted Mary Jane Bowman’s post re the oil painting she has and wangled to get it here on FAD as we having nothing of Geoffrey Charlesworth’s artworks on FAD. So thanks to Mary Jane here is the painting she has and a close up of the signature.

    • ChrisC

      @gerald The .jpg you uploaded for me today, refers to this painting…..

    • Gerald Buttigieg

      I have added a black and white photo I took in the Bay many years ago. It looks like the subject matter for the Charlesworth painting shown. It is the pier that led to the boarding point for the Sarie Marais Bay tours.

  21. Chris Charlesworth
    | Reply

    Wow …. intercepted !! Pleased to meet you Mr Bond 🙂 You would be done on a criminal charge for that in the UK !
    Never even thought of posting the pictures on FAD. I thought that Allan was short on storage space ?
    Anyways ….. Allan, please feel free to scrape Geoffrey’s Facebook page and recreate it on FAD. I would be pleased to see multiple tributes to such a fine artist. Some painting owners do not wish to be acknowledged….some do. I will try & inform you, once you have created the page.
    If you need help, please shout.

    Kind Regards

    EDIT: Hi Chris I came across this black and white photo I took many years ago. It is the pier that led to the boarding point for the Sarie Marais Bay tours. Looks like Charlesworth’s painting. Gerald

  22. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Chris,
    Bond here. All above board and the person concerned consented. The page is already created and this is it. Up to you to send pictures to Allan if you want them shown. I just felt that more people visiting the site would like to see Geoffrey’s work. Pictures always add interest.

    • Chris Charlesworth

      Hi Gerald
      Unfortunately very pressed for time. I would love for them to be shown here.
      Allan tells me that you are an admin, so it’s up to FAD Admins to get the pictures off of Geoffrey’s Facebook Group….over to you Bond 🙂
      They are on Facebook only because some elderly family members are only familiar with the Facebook app.

  23. William Paterson
    | Reply

    Hello Gerald. I’m impressed, but can’t work out where the painting was done (‘done’ is artist’s parlance) Regards, William.

  24. Jane
    | Reply

    Does, where it was done , mean…the subject of the work?
    If so, it is of Durban Bay with the Bluff in the background. I believe its the old wooden pier at the Yacht Mole.

  25. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi William,
    I was also thinking where the locality of the painting would have been. I am not sure but years ago there was a hut like that on a jetty where one boarded the “Sarie Marais” which took you on a Bay Cruise. At low tide shoals in the Bay were visible. Taking a guess though.

  26. William Paterson
    | Reply

    Hello Jane: Yes ref ‘done and the subject of the work’. I vaguely remember a hut at the end of the Mole. Gerald – likewise the old Sarie Marais. During the days of ‘Grand Apartheid’ I think a launch departed from the same place which shuttled Indian students to and from Salisbury Island.
    Back to Geoff: Has his painting resurfaced yet of the mangrove swamps at the head of the Bay? (Painted before SAR/SAS concreted over it as a marshalling yard) Invaluable as a record of Old Durban. Bit vague, but wasn’t the Battle of Congella fought near there? Dick King and all that?

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