Border Life: Celebrating the work of 'genius' commercial artist Tom Curr

  • Border Life's Fiona Armstrong talks to Dr Brewer about Mr Curr’s life and work

You may not have heard of him, but you will likely have seen his pictures – and now a new book shines a light on the genius of illustrator Tom Curr.

Dr Sandy Brewer from Galloway has spent 15 years researching the life of the commercial artist, known for iconic images like the kilted shot-putter on the Scott's porridge box, and a glamorous female passenger on the Cunard Line.

Dr Brewer discovered his most famous work – the shot-putter – was actually sketched as a present to his family.

She said: "It wasn’t for advertising. That was produced as a gift for the Scott family, and that painting now hangs in the boardroom of the Quaker Oats factory in Fife."

Tom Curr also created adverts for what was once one of the biggest employers in the Scottish Borders, Peter Scott. 

Archivist Kathy Hobkirk said: "He was a gifted artist - he could turn his hand to anything, from kicking a goal in a rugby game to ladies in their scanties."

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