A Grey day off Scarborough, Frank Henry Mason

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John Anthony Park (1880-1962)

He was born in Preston, Lancashire and was considered to be the star pupil at Julius Olsson and Algernon Mayow Talmage's school (1902-04). He then trained in Paris at Colarossi's under Delacluse before returning to St Ives in 1906. He sold "Street, St Ives" at the NAG in the summer of 1910.

 

Known for his impressionistic touch with colour and light, and for brilliantly coloured impressionistic depictions of boats in St Ives harbour, Park also painted still lifes. In WWI he served in the East Surrey Regiment, and married his wife Peggy in 1919. The couple lived in St Ives by 1921, moving to No. 3, Bowling Green in 1923. In the St Ives Show Day of 1924 he exhibited the paintings he was sending away to the RA. They included the largest, Drying Sails, another of St Ives with the herring fishing in full swing: "Herring Time, St Ives", and the third, "Souvenir from France", depicting the entrance to the harbour of La Rochelle.

 

Today Park is probably the most highly rated of resident members of the St Ives Society of Artists. He moved to London 1933, his studio in Maida Vale close to that of Dorothea Sharp and Marcella Smith, but he returned to St Ives in 1940, where he felt more at home. He died almost penniless in Preston, his wife having predeceased him. Sven Berlin said of him: "He painted like an angel - simply cathedrals of light." Wormleighton celebrated his life with his biography, Morning Tide: John Anthony Park and the Painters of Light.

 

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