January 4th Augustus John OM (Birth)

Augustus Edwin John OM RA (1878 – 1961) was a Welsh painter, draughtsman, and etcher.  He became an integral part of the Newlyn School of painters before the First World War and was highly influential, promoting the works of artists such as Alfred Wallis (August 29th) and Mary Jewels.  Living for a period in Lamorna Cove, John was surrounded by other painters who were, or were about to become, extremely famous; including Dame Laura Knight (July 7th ) and her husband Harold Knight (October 3rd), A.J. Munnings, Lamorna Birch (Jun 7th), Frank Dobson and Stanhope Forbes (November 18th)  

In 1914, John, by then in Alderney, wrote to the American art collector John Quinn stating ‘I found Cornwall a most sympathetic country with some very nice people amongst the artists’.

The Newlyn School of Artists broke up with the advent of the First World War due to war duties and a shortage of paint.   Nevertheless even after returning to London, John continued to travel down periodically to stay, in Mousehole, with his daughter-in-law who was estranged from his son, Edwin.  Edwin John became a close friend of Mary Wesley (June 24th) .  John’s influence continued well after he left Cornwall since he had nurtured Adrian Ryan RA (October 3rd) who, in his turn, encouraged and promoted Cornish artists before, during and after World War II including George Lambourn (July 18th) and the naif painter Joan Gillchrest (November 2nd).

Previous                                     Next