ASHTON, James (1859-1935)

ASHTON, James (1859-1935)
was born in the Isle of Man on 4 April 1859 and educated at the Blue Coat School, London. He studied art in England and at Paris, and in 1884 emigrated to Adelaide and established an art school. He visited England in 1894 and was elected a member of the Royal Society of Arts. On his return to Adelaide in 1895 he founded the Academy of Arts and for over 30 years was the best known teacher of painting in South Australia. Among his pupils were Hans Heysen, Hayley Lever, Frank White, Gustave Barnes (q.v.), his son Will Ashton, and others who have since done distinguished work. He was president of the South Australian Society of Arts for four years and is represented by three pictures in the Adelaide art gallery, of which "The Moon Enchanted Sea" is the best known. Paintings by him are also in the Broken Hill, Bendigo, and other galleries. He died at Adelaide on 2 August 1935. He married in 1880 M.E., daughter of John Rawling, who survived him with a son and a daughter.
The son, J. W. (Will) Ashton, who became a well-known artist, was appointed director of the national gallery at Sydney in 1936.
The Advertiser, Adelaide, 3 August, 1935; W Moore, The Story of Australian Art; Who's Who in Australia, 1933.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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