SAMUEL JOHN LAMORNA BIRCH
Birch was born in Egremont in Cheshire. He was self-taught as an artist but he did spend a year in Paris at the Atelier Colarossi between 1895-96.
He first developed an interest in drawing during a stay with a river-keeper, where he was introduced to fly fishing. Subsequent factory jobs allowed him to paint in his spare time and save the money needed to become an independent artist.
After visiting West Cornwall in the late 1889s, he settled in the Lamorna Valley in 1902.
He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1892 and held his first one man exhibition at the Fine Art Society in 1906. The nickname Lamorna was given to him by the Newlyn School artist Stanhope Forbes, to distinguish him from Lionel Birch, another artist working in the area at that time.
In1924 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy (ARA); in 1932 he was made a full Royal Academician (RA). Through his long career he exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy.
Birch visited New Zealand in 1937 and was the first Royal Academician to make that journey. He did produce some varied and interesting work there.