July 22nd John Drew MacKenzie (Death)

Shanghai – born John Drew MacKenzie (1861 – 1918) was a British master craftsman and founder of the Newlyn Copper School. Educated at Clifton College, MacKenzie travelled widely before moving to Cornwall to work as a painter and illustrator.

In 1890, with Thomas Gotch (December 10th) he founded the Newlyn Industrial Class, as an offshoot of the Newlyn School of Art, instructing local people in metalwork, enamelling and embroidery.  

Very socially aware and conscious of the seasonal nature of the work of men and women in the fishing industry he conceived the idea as a way to enable the same people to have an occupation all year around and also to give young men and women an useful way to spend the evenings.

MacKenzie volunteered in the First World War and died on this day in  1918 at the Norfolk War Hospital in Norwich.  Two of his pupils, Tom Batten and Johnny Payne Cotton, restarted the Newlyn school in 1920. 

Johnny Payne Cotton is ‘the young apprentice’ pictured in Stanhope Forbes’ painting of MacKenzie (left) and it continued until the outbreak of the Second World War.


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