NASH, John

1893 - 1977

John Nash

John Northcote Nash, was born at Kensington, London on 11 April 1893, the younger brother of the artist Paul Nash (11 May 1889–11 July 1946), sons of William Harry Nash (23 June 1848-25 February 1929), a barrister-at-law, and his wife Caroline Maude Jackson (17 December 1859-14 February 1910), eldest daughter of Capt. Milbourne Jackson, R.N., who married at Windsor Parish Church on 1 June 1887. By 1901, the family had moved to Woodlane House, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire his mother died in a mental institution in 1910. John was educated at Langley House School in Slough and at Wellington College, Berkshire and his first job was as a newspaper reporter which he abandoned in 1912 and settled on art. With no formal art training, in 1913, together with his brother Paul, had his first exhibition at the Dorien Leigh Galleries, London and was invited to join both The London Group and The Friday Club. In 1914 he began painting in oils and the following year joined Harold Gilman (1876-1919) in the Cumberland Market Group and exhibited with Gilman, Charles Ginner (1878-1952) and Robert Bevan (1865-1925) at the Goupil Gallery. He enlisted in the 1st Artists Rifles in November 1916 and from January 1918 was an official war artist. He married at St James's Church, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire on 30 May 1918, Dorothy Christine Kühlenthal (29 January 1895-8 November 1976), only child of William Henry Kühlenthal, a merchant chemist of Gerrards Cross. They lived at Gerrards Cross until 1921 when they moved to Lane End House, Meadle, Princes Risborough, their only child, William, was born in 1930 who died when he fell out of the back of a moving car in 1935, aged 4. In 1919 elected a member of the New English Art Club, in 1920 a founder member of the Society of Wood Engravers and in 1923 became a member of the modern English Water Colour Society and from 1921 was the art critic on ‘The London Mercury’. He worked in Dorset in 1923 and in Bath and Bristol during 1924 tutoring at The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford until 1929. In 1929 he was working in Essex and Suffolk, where he purchased a summer cottage at Bures in Suffolk, and taught at the Royal College of Art in London 1934-1940, working on wood engravings, lithographs, etc. In 1939, an artist teacher at the Royal College Arts Board Education, living at Headle, Wycombe, Buckinghamshire with his wife and on the outbreak of the Second World War, joined the Observer Corps moving in 1940 to the Admiralty as an official war artist with the rank of Captain in the Royal Marines being promoted Acting Major in 1943 before relinquishing his commission in November 1944. He was then living at Bottengoms Farm, Wormingford on the Suffolk/Essex border, joining the staff of the Royal College of Art in 1945 and awarded a C.B.E. in 1964. He died at Wormingford, Colchester, Essex on 23 September 1977. He was close friends with the writer Ronald Blythe (born 1922), who dedicated his best-selling book ‘Akenfield’ to the artist. Aylesbury County Museum hold a collection of his works.




Works by This Artist