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Walter John Bayes was born to a family of artists in 1869, his father being a painter and etcher, his sister Jessie Bayes, a painter, and his brother Gilbert Bayes, a sculptor. He was taught at the Westminster School of Art from 1900-1902, and many of his works were critically acclaimed. Bayes caught the painter Walter Sickert’s attention when submitting some of his paintings for the Allied Artists’ Association, and he became a member of Sickert’s group of friends and artists, the Fitzroy Street circle. He married Katherine (Kitty) Teller in 1904, and often painted her figure in his small works. He was also commissioned to make war paintings, and while critics admired his work, he attained little commercial success. He earned a living for his family, which included two sons and his wife, as an art critic and teacher at his alma mater the Westminster School of Art. Bayes was the headmaster there from 1918-1934, and at the Lancaster School of Arts and Crafts from 1944-1949. He died in his home in Hampstead in 1956.

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