Alas I have to report the death of Anne Christopherson, an enthusiastic painter of the working river. Her knowledge and persistence has created a unique record of her beloved Thames.
Anne was welcomed by watermen wharf owners and river men generally to paint the scenes which fascinated her. Every piece of work was of the same dimension and her recognisable palette and technique had recorded accurately the scenes that she painted. I was astonished to be able to identify each ship crane and cargo she depicted. When I was asked to give a talk to the Greenwich Industrial History Society on riverside cranes I found her documentation invaluable.
Anne and John Christopherson’s house overlooked our Diamond Terrace garden which was once the home of John Masefield, the poet – their interpretation of this scene could not have been more different. Their collection of art was the result of John’s regular tour of well known galleries – his primitive style was also in demand. John predeceased Ann who taught Art at Blackheath High School for Girls and her retirement led her to study the ever changing moods of the Greenwich river scene.
Anne had been moved by her caring nephew down to a home at Porscatho in Cornwall – her room had a wonderful view of Nab Head and a large earthenware pot contained her paint brushes ready for action!! A booklet of her work is well worth acquiring to show how the working river worked through her inquisitive talent. [ Greenwich – Time and Tides – Paintings by Anne Christopherson.]