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Caparne-Welch Medal

Caparne-Welch Medal

History by Clarence Mahan …...........................................................related links; Awards; Photo-gallery of 50 favorite dwarfs; 2015 Caparne-Welch Medal Candidates.

This medal is restricted to miniature dwarf bearded (MDB) irises. It is named in honor of William John Caparne (1855-1940) and Walter Welch (1887-1980).

William John Caparne was born in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, in 1855, and his name was spelled "Caparn" until he added a final "e" in his later years. Caparnel Both of his parents were artists and shared a love of gardening and flowers. He taught art at a local school and in his own studio, and he sold bulbs and seeds of difficult to obtain garden plants. After his wife died in 1894, he left his teaching position and in 1896, he moved to the isle of Guernsey. Living in a small cottage, he converted an old tramcar into an artist's studio. Here he lived, painted, and grew and hybridized irises and other flowering plants until he became totally blind in 1938. He died on Guernsey in 1940.

Caparne's life was much influenced by his friend Sir Michael Foster. Foster was an admirer of Caparne's paintings and asked Caparne to paint irises. Caparne developed an interest in breeding irises, and by crossing dwarf species with taller cultivars created a new "race" of intermediate irises. He also worked extensively breeding various dwarf iris species and was the first iris hybridizer to concentrate on smaller irises. Most of the dwarf iris cultivars grown in gardens in the first quarter of the 20th century were products of Caparne's hybridizing efforts. The art world saw a renewed interest in Caparne's paintings in the 1990s, and his works gained increased admiration and value. If you are interested in knowing more about William John Caparne, it is suggested you obtain two books by Robin A. Fenner: A Genius Undeclared (Tavistock, 1994) and Guernsey My Heaven on Earth (Tavistock, 1998). These two books reproduce a number of Caparne's iris paintings, and Guernsey My Heaven on Earth lists and describes many of the irises bred by Caparne. ,

The founder of the Dwarf Iris Society, Walter WelchWalter E. Welch, was born in Missouri in 1887. A musician and artist, he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and was a talented interior decorator. After moving to Middlebury, Indiana, he worked for the U.S. Post Office Department. There he met Paul Cook and began hybridizing irises. He shared Cook's enthusiasm for dwarf irises, and set out to develop new forms for the garden. Welch introduced his first dwarf iris cultivars in 1950. One of these, 'Primus,' won the American Iris Society's Caparne Award, which was the top award restricted to dwarf irises at that time. Seven more of his dwarf introductions won this award: 'April Morn' (1954), 'Blazon' (1955), 'Sparkling Eyes' (1956), 'Veri Gay' (1958), 'Cherry Spot' (1960), 'Fashion Lady' (1964), and 'Atomic Blue' (1965).

Walter Welch organized the Dwarf Iris Club in 1950, and published the first dwarf iris Portfolio that same year. The Dwarf Iris Club later became the Dwarf Iris Society. Welch edited the Portfolio for 12 years. He founded the dwarf iris robin program and at one time was serving as director for eighteen robins. Even after he had relinquished his editor position for the Portfolio, he continued to contribute many learned articles. He organized the dwarf iris slide program. Walter Welch was tireless in his efforts to promote dwarf irises and to encourage younger hybridizers.

List of Caparne-Welch Medal winners - Miniature Dwarf Bearded (MDB) Irises:

'Black Olive'
2023 - Paul Black
2022 - Keith Keppel
'Elf Esteem'
2021 - Paul Black
'Fairy Firefly'
2021 - Terry Aitken
2019 - Paul Black
'Kayla's Song'
2018 - Donald Spoon
'Cute As A Button'
2017 - Paul Black
'Gecko Echo'
2016 - Brad Kasperek
2015 - Thomas Johnson
2014 – Keith Keppel
'Trimmed Velvet'
2013 - Donald Spoon
Trimmed Velvet
'Dollop Of Cream'
2012 - Paul Black
Dollop Of Cream
'Fission Chips'
2011 - Keith Keppel
Fission Chipsi
2010 - Paul Black
'Tiny Titan'
2009 - J. T. Aitken
Tiny Titan
'Yak Attack'
2008 - Brad Kasperek
Yak Attack
2007 - Thomas Johnson
'African Wine'
2006 - Brad Kasperek
African Wine
'Little Drummer Boy'
2005 - Dorothy & Anthony Willott
Little Drummer Boy
'Dinky Circus'
2004 - Paul Black
Dinky Circus
2003 - Lynda Miller
2002 - Lynda Miller
'Hey There'
2001 - Carol Lankow
Hey There
2000 - Ben Hager
'Tooth Fairy'
1999 - Bennett Jones
Tooth Fairy
1998 - Lynda Miller
1997 - Terry Aitken
'Cinnamon Apples'
1996 - By Paul Black
Cinnamon Apples
'Spot Of Tea'
1995 - Paul Black
Spot Of Tea
'Funny Face'
1994 - Mildred Brizendine
Funny Face
1993 - Terry Aitken
'Chubby Cherub'
1992 - Terry Aitken
Chubby Cherub
'Puppet Baby'
1991 - C. Boswell
Puppet Baby
1990 - Anthony & Dorothy Willott
'Alpine Lake'
1989 - Anthony & Dorothy Willott
Alpine Lake
1988 - Ben Hager
1987 - Ben Hager
Chubby Cherub
'Garnet Elf'
1986 - Melba Hamblen
Garnet Elf
1985 - David Sindt
'Lemon Puff'
1984 - Bonnie Dunbar
Dinky Circus

List of Caparne Award winners - Miniature Dwarf Bearded (MDB) Irises:
(No Award in 1983. Awards of Merit for MDBs established in 1983, with initiation of the upgraded Caparne Medal scheduled for 1984.)

'Garnet Elf'
1982 - M. Hamblen
'Penny Candy'
1981 - M. Hamblen
1980 - D. Sindt
1979 - B. Hager
'Orchid Flair'
1978 - L. Mahood
'Tom Thumb'
1977 - M. Hamblen
1976 - B. Hager
'Lemon Puff'
1975 - Dunbar
'Three Cherries'
1974 - B. Hager
'Buttercup Charm'
1973 - A. Brown
'Sun Sparkle'
1972 - D. Sindt
'Blue Beret'
1971 - E. Roberts
'Bumble Wings'
1970 - E. Smith
'Irish Doll'
1969 - A. Brown
'Sky Caper'
1968 - Warburton
1967 - Greenlee
1966 - P. Cook
'Atomic Blue'
1965 - W. Welch
'Fashion Lady'
1964 - W. Welch
'Bee Wings'
1963 - A. Brown
'Black Baby'
1962 - H. Sass
'Angel Eyes'
1961 - B. Jones
'Cherry Spot'
1960 - W. Welch
'Blue Frost'
1959 - H. Doriot
1958 - W. Welch
'Path Of Gold'
1957 - E. Hodson
'Sparkling Eyes'
1955 - W. Welch
1955 - W. Welch
'April Morn'
1954 - W. Welch
'Beauty Spot'
1953 - W. Marx
1952 - A. Todaro
1951 - W. Welch
'Sound Money'
1950 - J. Sass


-- Main.RPries - 2009-12-24
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
CWM photo 1 web.jpgjpg CWM photo 1 web.jpg manage 143 K 08 Apr 2022 - 21:24 Main.tomlwaters Caparne-Welch Medail
Caparne-Welch_MDB2_edit.jpgjpg Caparne-Welch_MDB2_edit.jpg manage 50 K 26 Aug 2010 - 14:19 UnknownUser AIS slides
PP11WalterWelch-May1960-bw_2X2_edit.jpgjpg PP11WalterWelch-May1960-bw_2X2_edit.jpg manage 46 K 26 Aug 2010 - 14:32 UnknownUser AIS slides
PP3-Caparne_Picture-Mahan_2X3_edit.jpgjpg PP3-Caparne_Picture-Mahan_2X3_edit.jpg manage 45 K 26 Aug 2010 - 14:26 UnknownUser AIS slides
Topic revision: r61 - 25 Mar 2024, BobPries
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