Famous Former Pupils

  Sir Alexander Fleming

  Lord Boyd Orr

Eleanor Allen Robertson (née Moore) (1885-1955)

Eleanor Allen Moore was born in County Antrim. Her father, the Revd Hamilton Moore, was called to be minister of Loudoun Parish Church in 1891. She briefly attended Kilmarnock Academy in 1902 and she later went to the Glasgow School of Art. After graduating she was unable to afford the cost of a model, posing for herself in some of her early paintings. For one oil painting she grandly dressed herself in silk in a pose partly suggested, perhaps, by the work of the Scottish colourist, F.C.B. Cadell. In 1922 Moore married Robert Cecil Robertson, a doctor and another former pupil of Kilmarnock Academy. Her husband was appointed Public Health Officer with Shanghai Municipal Council in 1924 where Eleanor continued painting, producing some fine watercolours of the Chinese people in the 1930s. She was also popular as a portrait painter in the expatriate community. As she and her husband explored the countryside around Shanghai in their houseboat, Robert, the son of a Kilmarnock house painter and decorator, also took up painting, producing some impressive studies of local scenes and people. Eleanor and her husband stayed in Shanghai until the outbreak if the Sino-Japanese war in 1937 when they moved to Hong Kong. After World War II she returned to Scotland.

Nowadays Eleanor Allen Robertson is claimed as belonging to the school of painters known as 'the Glasgow Girls'. This is a description for women painters associated with the Glasgow School of Art in the early twentieth century which has been coined to counterbalance the better-known male painters, ' the Glasgow Boys'. She and her husband were the subject of an exhibition at the Dick Institute, Kilmarnock, in 1997, where several of her works are held. The catalogue to the exhibition contains a number of illustrations of her work.