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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook

WATTS, W. Reuben 1869–1940

WATTS, W. Reuben 1869–1940

Born Manchester 29 May 1869; after death of his wife decided to visit New Zealand, accompanying his brother a jeweller who was to settle there. Arrived Wellington c.1899; worked there designing and making jewellery: exhibited with NZ Academy of Fine Arts, Wtn 1900–10. Decided to return to England, but visited Auckland; met there and married Rita Bartley, one of a family well known in theatre, art, and music circles and niece of artist Edwin Bartley. Watts became known for his fine metal work and taught at Elam School of Art. Exhibited ASA. He too was musical, played the 'cello in an amateur trio and went on painting excursions with friend Arthur Heap. Earlier had painted watercolours but in later life painted in oils. Died in Auckland 12 December 1940.