John S. Currie c.1884-1914

Artist biography

John S. CURRIE c. 1884–1914

Figure and portrait painter. Believed to have been born c. 1884 at Chesterton, Newcastle under Lyme, son of an Irish builder and railway contractor. Encouraged by Arnold Bennett he studied c. 1903 at Newcastle and Hanley Schools of Art, where he won a National Scholarship and British Institution Scholarship. Worked as a ceramic artist, painting figure subjects on porcelain in the Boullemeir style. Became Master of Life Painting at Bristol, a post he held at the time of his marriage in 1907. Moved to London and after some success with his painting gave up his L.C.C. appointment. During the summer term of 1910 studied part-time at the Slade and became a friend of Mark Gertler and Augustus John. Left his wife in 1911, and went to Newlyn, Cornwall, in 1912. Exhibited at the N.E.A.C. from 1912; member 1914. Shot himself and his mistress in a fit of jealousy and died a day later in the Chelsea Infirmary 9 October 1914. A romanticized account of the event appears in Gilbert Cannan's novel Mendel 1916.

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