Artist: Archibald (Archie) Sutter Watt

Date of Birth:
Date of Death:
Place of Death:
Residence in Dumfries & Galloway:



Glasgow School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art

Professional Bodies:


Exhibited At:



William Gillies, John Maxwell


William Gillies and John Maxwell


Archie Sutter Watt RSW, Gracefield Arts Centre, 2000.

Obituary, The Scotsman 09/05/2005

Image of the artist, Gracefield Art Centre and the artist’s executors.  The photograph shows Archie Sutter Watt at home in his studio at Kirkgunzeon


Archie Sutter Watt came to Galloway to take up a teaching post at Dalbeattie High School.


Established Stewartry Art Society with John Davey and Ronald Maxwell, 1969  and helped establish Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, 1980


An exhibition celebrating the the life and work of Archie Sutter Watt will be held at the Whitehouse Gallery, Kirkcudbright, September 8th to October 22nd 2007

Archie Sutter Watt’s good humour,pedagogical nature and wry wit was unique and is sorely missed by all those who knew him.  In honour of his contribution to Scottish art and education a Trust Fund has been set up in his name.

From 20 May to 24 June 2006 there was an exhibition at Gracefield, Arts Centre, Dumfries showing works in various print making techniques spanning Archie’s working life. All profits from the sale of work in the exhibition have gone to the Archie Sutter Watt Trust Fund.  For more information on the Fund visit  

Archie Sutter Watt was born in Edinburgh in 1915 and brought up there and in Fife. He attended Lauder Technical College and became a freelance draftsman. He enlisted in the army in 1939 and on demobilisation in 1946 entered Edinburgh College of Art, where there was a keen group of students anxious to make up for lost time under the guidance of talented teachers such as Adam Bruce Thomson, Donald Moodie and William Gillies.

At the end of his post – graduate year at Moray House Teacher Training College in 1950, Archie saw a job in Dalbeattie posted on the College notice board. Not knowing Galloway, he decided to try the area for a couple of years, little thinking that this would become a stay of over 50 years.

Archie began teaching at Dalbeattie High School in 1950. Dalbeattie was the home of John Maxwell, who with Willie Gillies had taught and influenced Archie at College. Over the years Archie developed a firm friendship with Maxwell and with Gillies who was a frequent visitor to Dalbeattie till Johnnie Maxwell’s untimely death in 1962. During his teaching career in Galloway Archie established art departments at Cargenbridge School and at Dalry High School and was primary schools advisor for the Stewartry.

As time went by Archie developed his deep interest in the Galloway landscape and his work proved popular with the buying public. The area round his home at Kirkgunzeon, Dalbeattie and the Solway coast offered varied subject matter and the chance to depict its unique light, colour and vibrancy. The landscape about Kirkgunzeon and the Solway coast village of Carsethorn have been recurring themes in the artist’s work While Archie’s work followed the trend towards abstraction it was, like Maxwell’s, always firmly rooted in the view before him. He became a member of the Society of Scottish Artists in 1952 and a member of the Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour in 1966.

Over the years Archie became increasingly involved in the artistic life of Dumfries and Galloway. In 1969 he established the Stewartry Art Society with his friend John Davey. In 1976 following his retirement from reaching in schools, he began to give classes from his studio in Kirkgunzeon. In 1980 he restarted the Kirkcudbright summer schools and in the same year became involved in the establishment of the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival with its celebrated exhibition in his own studio.

To the end of his life Archie Sutter Watt was closely involved in the artistic life of Dumfries and Galloway, developing new art techniques over the years. His achievement was recognised with a major retrospective exhibition at Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries in 2000 and there have been memorial exhibitions since his death in 2005.