Walter Gilbert Wiles (1875-1966)
Born in Regents Park, London to a Victorian family of eleven, Wiles began his studies and working career in France, colouring photographs during the day and studying art and violin at night. In 1902 he moved to South Africa to seek his fortune. First in Natal, then to the Eastern Cape where he farmed ostrich, but with the marked subsiding he turned to teaching art. His works were prised not only in South Africa, but in the Uk as well, with numerous Royal commissions as well as local demand. It got to a stage that he no longer needed to exhibit, as most works were being acquired “off the easel”. Patriarch of one of the most well know art families in South Africa, the following two generations produced significant artists within the Wiles family too.