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 Celebrating Our 20th Year 

Artwork by Augustus John

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About the Artist

(1878-1961) "Augustus John was born in Tenby, on the Welsh coast. When Augustus insisted on going to art school, his father dubiously packed him off to the Slade School of Art in London. The young artist visited Paris in 1898, returning there every year.

John remembers that in his student days at London's Royal Academy, he was "enslaved" by two famous Americans who had great successes in London, Whistler and Sargent. John learned from both and came to paint personalities just as brilliantly, charmingly and revealingly as his masters had. He placed his technique at the service of his subject matter, and this instinct, which most modern painters scorn, is the first essential of portraiture. 

In 1901 he married Ida Nettleship; from 1901 to 1902 he taught art in Liverpool. 

In 1903 he had his first exhibition, shared with his sister, Gwen. From 1901 until 1904 he served as Professor of Painting at Liverpool University and from 1911 until 1914 he worked with George Inness in Wales. In 1921 he was elected an Associate Royal Academician; in 1928 he was named Royal Academician, but was always out of step with their conservatism. In 1938 he resigned and in 1940 he was re-elected. 

His genius for portraiture was evident from the start; the wealthy and the near-great begged for the chance of being immortalized by him. His posh commissions enabled him to set up his family in a rambling guest-filled country house on the Avon River." appropriated from AskArt.com written by Jean Ershler Schatz.