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In 1989, Vettriano submitted two canvases for the Royal Scottish Academy annual show. Both paintings sold on the first day and Vettriano was approached by several galleries.Further exhibitions followed in Edinburgh, London, Hong Kong and Johannesburg. In November 1999, Vettriano’s work was shown for the first time in New York, when 21 paintings were displayed at The International 20th Century Arts Fair at The Armory. More than 40 collectors from the UK flew out for the event and all 20 paintings were sold on the opening night.
Jack Vettriano grew up in the industrial seaside town of Methil, Fife. He grew up in poverty with his mother and father and older brother, in a spartan miner’s cottage, sharing a bed with his brother and wearing handed down clothes. From the age of 10, his father sent him out delivering papers and milk, cleaning windows, picking potatoes and any job that would earn money. His father took half his earnings.
In 2004 Vettriano set up a scholarship for University of St Andrews to fund a student who would not be able to attend university otherwise. The scholarship is awarded every four years. The endowment follows his financial contribution towards refurbishing the Students Association's Old Union Coffee Bar in 2002 and his involvement in student fashion shows. He was made a Doctor of Letters by the university.
The National Museum in Edinburgh was Scotland’s most visited attraction last year.
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