John Anthony PARK

John Anthony PARK RBA, ROI

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), then trained in Paris at Colarossi's under Delacluse before returning to St Ives in 1906. He sold Street St Ives at NAG in the summer of 1910.

In 1912 and 1913 Park used a Polperro exhibiting address. He may not have been a full-time resident, over-wintering either in Plymouth or Brixton, but he took a studio in the Coombes, Polperro, from July to September each year, and ran painting classes in the village. The vast majority of his output during those years, and in 1914, were Polperro scenes.

With his distinctive rendering of colour and light, he was best known for his brilliantly coloured impressionistic depictions of boats in St Ives harbour. he was also a painter of still life. In WWI he served in East Surrey Regiment, and married his wife Peggy in 1919. The couple lived in St Ives by 1921, moving to 3 Bowling Green in 1923. In the Show Day of 1924, he exhibited with 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.

Nowadays, he is probably the most highly regarded of the St Ives resident members of STISA at that time. He moved to London 1933, where his studio in Maida Vale was close to that of Dorothea SHARP and Marcella SMITH. But he returned to St Ives in 1940, where he felt more at home. Sadly, he died almost penniless in Preston, his wife having predeceased him (1957, Torquay). Sven BERLIN said, "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.


Painter of still life and sea paintings

works and access

Likenesses: Tate (1985) Photo c1920, p137; Photo together with Francis ROSKRUGE and Fred MILNER [in] Tovey (2003) p263; 

Works incl: St Ives Harbour (oil on canvas); St Ives Harbour (commemorating the visit of HMS Howe, July 1947) both in collection of St Ives Town Council; The Inner Harbour, Polperro; Near Polperro (1914)


St Ives 1909, March 1923

NAG 1932


Oldham Municipal Gallery 1924

Spring Exhibition City of Hull Art Gallery, 1924


1989: A Century of Art in Cornwall 1889-1989, CCC Centenary, Truro

1992: Royal West of England Academy, Bristol: Artists from Cornwall exh


ROI: 1923; STISA: 1927-1959; Founder member RBA: 1934


Personal bibliography: Wormleighton (1998) Morning Tide - John Anthony Park and the Painters of Light incl extensive bibliography & list of RA pictures exhibited



Buckman (2006) Artists/Britain since 1945

Chanter, C (2012) His Beloved St Ives, The Painter Gerard Wagner (photos & painting images)

Chantry Bequest list: Tate On-line


Hardie (1995) 100 Years/Diary

Hardie (2009) Artists/Newlyn & West Cornwall pp253-4 (col pl: Penberth Cove) incl NAG sales record

Johnson & Greutzner

Newton et al Painting at the Edge

Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly: Oil Paintings in Public Ownership

RWE (1992) Artists from Cornwall Exh cat

Tate (1985) St Ives 1939-64: 25 Years of Painting, Sculpture & Pottery, biog notes p137

Tovey (2000) GF Bradshaw & STISA, Appendix 3: Principal Members of STISA (1927-1960)

Tovey (2003) Creating a Splash

Tovey (2009) St Ives/Social History

Tovey, David (2021) Polperro - Cornwall's Forgotten Art Centre - Vols 1 & 2, Wilson Books

Whybrow (2013) St Ives: The Story of Porthmeor Studios;