John Laviers Wheatley
|Died||17 November 1955(aged 63)|
|Known for||Painting, Drawing|
|Spouse(s)||Edith Grace Wheatley (m.1912-1955, his death)|
Wheatley was born in Abergavenny in Wales and was the only son of Sir Zachariah Wheatley, a former mayor of the town. The younger Wheatley attended the Slade School of Art during 1912 and 1913, having previously taken art lessions from both Stanhope Forbes and Walter Sickert. During World War One, Wheatley served in the Artists' Rifles and later in the conflict was an official war artist. The British War Memorials Committee appointed Wheatley to record the work of the Royal Navy in the British home ports. After a short, and miserable, few days at Rosyth Wheatley was sent to Southampton where he recorded the work of the Salvage Service. He produced over 40 paintings there including a large canvas for the proposed, but never built, national Hall of Remembrance. After the War, Wheatley was commissioned to paint a portrait of James Crichton, a recipient of the Victoria Cross.
Wheatley showed three works at the first annual exhibition of the newly-formed Society of Graphic Art in 1921. He held a joint show with Muirhead Bone at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1922 and taught at the Slade for five years from 1920 until 1925 when he, and his wife the artist Edith Grace Wheatley, nee Wolfe, moved to South Africa. The couple remained there until 1937, during which time John Wheatley was the Michaelis Professor of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town and Director of the National Gallery of South Africa. On his return to England in 1937, Wheatley was appointed director of the Sheffield City Art Galleries. During the Second World War, the War Artists' Advisory Committee commissioned Wheatley to paint several portraits of workers involved in the war effort. From 1948 to 1950, Wheatley was curator of the National College of British Sports and Pastimes.
Two paintings by John Wheatley were burned by demonstrators during the Rhodes Must Fall upheaval at the University of Cape Town in February 2016: a portrait of Edward, Prince of Wales and one of Alexander Brown..
Wheatley was a member of, or affiliated with, the following organisations:
- 1943: Elected associate of the Royal Watercolour Society,
- 1945: Elected associate of the Royal Academy,
- 1947: Elected member of the Royal Watercolour Society,
- David Buckman (1998). Artists in Britain Since 1945 Vol 2, M to Z. Art Dictionaries Ltd. ISBN 0 95326 095 X.
- "John Wheatley, A.R.A". Royal Academy. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
- Grant M. Waters (1975). Dictionary of British Artists Working 1900-1950. Eastbourne Fine Art.
- Frances Spalding (1990). 20th Century Painters and Sculptors. Antique Collectors' Club. ISBN 1 85149 106 6.
- Benezit Dictionary of Artists Volume 14 Valverde-Zyw. Editions Grund, Paris. 2006. ISBN 2 7000 3084 2.
- Merion Harries & Susie Harries (1983). The War Artists, British Official War Art of the Twentieth Century. Michael Joseph, The Imperial War Museum & the Tate Gallery. ISBN 0 7181 2314 X.
- "First World War art archive:Wheatley, John". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
- "War artist archive:John Wheatley". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
- GroundUp, 9 June 2017
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