20th Century British Art
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Gerald Edward Moira (1867-1959)

Painter, mural decorator and teacher, born in London of Portuguese origin. He studied at Royal Academy Schools, 1887–89, winning several prizes, having been earlier tutored and encouraged by his father, Eduardo Lobo da Moira (1817–1887), a miniature painter who had served in the Portuguese diplomatic service. 

Moira failed to win the Royal Academy gold medal only by the casting vote of its president, Sir Frederick Leighton. On leaving the Schools Moira immediately set up studio in London and received a number of important portrait commissions. 
Gerald Moira showed at the RA from 1891, IS from 1899, was member of NPS and RWA, and held senior positions in ROI and RWS. He went on to become professor of mural and decorative painting at the Royal College of Art, 1900–22, then principal of Edinburgh College of Art, 1924–32. 
In addition to teaching he carried out a formidable number of large commissions, including decorations for the old Trocadero Restaurant, in Shaftesbury Avenue; ceiling for the boardroom of Lloyd’s Register; a frieze for the Passmore Edwards Free Library, in Shoreditch; work at the Central Criminal Court; as well as work in private houses, church decoration and many easel pictures. 

His compositions were confidently designed, tidy in execution and rich in colour. Examples of his work are in the collections of the Tate, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and Glasgow Art Gallery. He died in Northwood, Middlesex.

Selected Literature Harold Watkins, The Art of Gerald Moira, London, 1922.

We are grateful to Chris Mees for assistance.

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