Artist biography

John Cecil STEPHENSON b. 1889

Painter in oils, tempera and watercolour; also goldsmith, enameller and furniture designer. Born 15 September 1889 at Bishop Auckland, Durham. Contemplated a musical career, but decided to study at Leeds School of Art 1908–14, the R.C.A. 1914–18 and the Slade School 1918; also in Paris and Italy. Worked in a naturalistic style, producing watercolour landscapes and oil portraits until 1932, when he turned to abstract painting. Taught at the Northern Polytechnic 1922–55. Exhibited with the 7 & 5 Society 1934, and with the London Group 1953–9. Married his second wife, the painter Kathleen Guthrie, 1941. Member of the Hampstead Artists Council 1945, of the Free Painters 1959 and of the A.I.A. 1961. Designed a mural for the Festival of Britain 1951, and prize-winning ply-glass mural window for the British Industrial Pavilion at the Brussels International Exhibition 1958. Other designs for Ply Glass Ltd are in the Engineering School of Queen Mary College, London, Solar House, Rickmansworth, and elsewhere in England and abroad.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II