Cranleigh Barton was a lawyer by training but he had a life-long interest in art. Born in Feilding in the North Island, at age 16 he began taking art classes at Wellington Technical College. Barton later attended Victoria University of Wellington, graduating with a Bachelor of Law degree in 1912. He went on to balance his practice as a solicitor with part-time activity as an artist. After moving to Christchurch in 1919, Barton exhibited with the Canterbury Society of Arts and the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. In 1924 he moved to England and studied at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London. While in England Barton exhibited with the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, the Royal Society of British Artists and the New English Art Club. Despite returning to live in Christchurch in 1930, Barton continued to travel widely overseas on painting trips over the following decades. A long-time resident of the Sumner-Redcliffs area, Barton was a well-known identity of the seaside suburb and was frequently involved in organisations associated with the area. Barton bequeathed a substantial number of his watercolours to the Canterbury Museum, which today has the largest holding of his work. He is also represented in the collections of the Hocken Library, Dunedin and the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. [From the Christchurch Art Gallery Website].
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