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John Northcote Nash (1893-1977)

John Nash (1893-1977)

Painter, mainly of landscapes, in oil and watercolour, wood engraver and illustrator.  Born in London, brother of Paul Nash, he worked initially as a local journalist. Encouraged by Paul he turned to art, remaining self-taught.  Exhibited with his brother at the Dorien Leigh Galleries, 1913, first one-man show at the Goupil Gallery, 1921.  By that time Nash was established as a member of the Friday Club, LG and Cumberland Market Group.

In 1914 he had begun to paint in oil and this combined with his experience with the Artists Rifles led to some fine pictures when he was made an official War Artist in 1918.  Nash was also an Official War Artist attached to the Admiralty in World War II.  Between the wars Nash established himself as a sympathetic painter of English landscapes using a style that was less dramatic than his brother Paul.  Nash taught at Ruskin School, Oxford, 1922-7 and for two long periods before and after World War II at the Royal College of Art. He joined the staff of the Royal College of Art in 1945 and continued to teach there and later at the Flatford Mill field studies centre.

Nash taught at Colchester Art School and became one of the founders of Colchester Art Society and later the Society’s President. Nash bequeathed his personal library and several of his paintings and engravings to The Minories, Colchester, who later sold most of the material to the Tate.  Nash became an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1940 and a full member in 1951. He became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1964. His retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1967 was the first for a living painter.  Nash suffered from severe arthritis in later years. His wife died in 1976 they had been married for over 58 years. Nash died on 23 September 1977, in Colchester.  They are both buried at St Andrew’s, Wormingford, Essex.

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