Powell served in the British Army but for others around the world he is best known as the founder of the world-wide Scouting movement, first the Boy Scouts and then with his sister Agnes, of the Girl Guide and Girl Scout movement. He also wrote the first editions of "Scouting for Boys."
What people may not realize about Baden-Powell was that he was a remarkable artist who painted almost every day from his childhood. His father was an amateur artist as was his grandmother and he came by it naturally and with support.
He had an interesting style, shifting his brush from one hand to the other with little change in style or skill. He worked in pen and ink doing advance sketches for his paintings. He spent many of is later years in Africa and many of his paintings reflect this.
Baden-Powell's first British Army commission sent him to India.
His letters home included stories of the people and sites he observed and they were liberally illustrated with images describing the scenes. He was also an avid art journalist -- long before art journaling became a "thing."
He also received an invitation from The Graphic, a newspaper offering payment for his sketches from the front.
Baden-Powell was an avid traveler, both through his Army commissions and independently. His travels took him to Switzerland...
....and to Canada.
Some of his work was done while touring Tunis and Algeria. He wrote many books and often his later works focused on African themes.
In 1910, he retired from the army organized the scouting movement. When girls appeared at the first Scout rally in 1909, they told him they were "Girl Scouts." He and his sister then formed the Girl Guides, which evolved into Girl Scouts in some areas of the world.
When Baden-Powell retired in 1937, he and his wife, Olave, whom he had married in 1912, moved to Nyeri, Kenya, where he died and was buried in 1941.
I wonder what he would think of recent controversies in the Scouting world. I know that being an Eagle Scout was a big part of Rick's growth and development and always spoke highly of the movement.
I'm so glad I was able to see this collection before the Scouting Museum in Irving closed. Powell's art is a wonderful example of both watercolor work and journaling...
...and certainly an inspiration.