Fred Lawson remains one of Yorkshire's most popular and easily recognisable artists, even over 50 years after his death. Born in Yeadon near Leeds in 1888, he studied Fine Art at Leeds College of Art (then Leeds School of Art), alongside fellow artist Jacob Kramer (1892-1962). There, he won a scholarship to Kensington College of Art (now the Royal College of Art), where he won 3 medals for excelling in drawing.
In 1910, Fred visited Wensleydale for the first time, and decided it was where he wanted to spend the rest of his life. Coincidentally, this was also the year his future wife, Muriel Metcalfe (1910-1994), was born; she was 22 years younger than him. Fred eventually settled in the village of Castle Bolton, the subject of many of his paintings, and here a small group of artists often known as 'The Castle Bolton Group' formed around him, incuding his wife, George Graham (1881-1949) and George Jackson (1898-1974). In 1934, Muriel gave birth to their only child, Sonia Lawson, who is now a respected artist in her own right. Fred and Muriel lived and worked in the Yorkshire Dales right up until Fred's death in 1968.