Born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, James Alder was a painter, illustrator and sculptor of Natural History and described as the successor to the great engraver and artist Thomas Bewick. A major figure in Natural History in the North East, he served latterly as president of the Natural History Society of Northumbria and was awarded honorary degrees from the University of Northumbria and a Doctorate from Newcastle University. Working for several years as the chief animalia sculptor for Royal Worcester, he produced many beautiful limited edition models in both porcelain and bronze.
Perhaps the pinnacle of his career were his two limited edition books of "The Birds and Flowers of the Castle of Mey" for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and the "Birds of Balmoral" for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Described by a leading art authority "James Alder was a towering figure of Natural History and wildlife illustration in the region for almost half a century".