John Henry TITCOMB
Jack Titcomb was born in Lambeth, the second son of an evangelical Anglican minister, the Reverend Jonathan Holt Titcomb, who became first Bishop of Rangoon. Trained in art at the Slade School. His brother, William Holt Yates TITCOMB with whom Jack was very close, was one of the leading artists in St Ives in the period 1887-1905.
Jack was also based in the town for much of this time, joining William and his wife Jessie Ada TITCOMB on their regular painting trips abroad. Though not nearly as accomplished an artist as his brother, he was extremely affable and efficient, so he found organisational roles wherever he went.
As President of the St Ives Arts Club in 1910, (and also later in 1929 and 1938) he was the subject of a caricature by the American artist Herbert G FITZHERBERT (Fitz). At the St Ives Show Day of 1911, he exhibited Clifton Bridge and studies of a river (all in oils) During the First World War he briefly moved to Bristol, joining his brother, and organised the annual art exhibition of the Bristol Savages Club with such efficiency that he became their President the following year.
Until 1920 he worked entirely in oils, but when his brother started to concentrate on watercolours during his continental painting tours of the 1920s, Jack also started working in this medium. At the 1924 Show Day he exhibited at Lanhams 'some result of his recent sojourn in Venice in fine watercolours, all painted in his well-known delicate style.'
A founder member of STISA, he retained his membership for 25 years up to his death, though his contributions to exhibitions were spasmodic and even his participation in Show Days tailed off, due perhaps to marrying late in life. In 1939 he was the artists' representative at the Tercentenary celebrations of the granting of the charter by Charles I, incorporating St Ives as a borough, during which the Mayor highlighted the contributions of the artists in the past fifty years to the promotion of tourism.
works and access
Likenesses of the Artist: A portrait of the artist by Mabel Douglas reproduced in Tovey (2003) p270
Works include: Canal scene Venice - (s) watercolour -11x14.5" (1924)
Access to Work: STIAC Bristol Savages 'St Ives Harbour' reproduced in Tovey (2003) p271
St Ives 1909, March 1911, March, 'Clifton Bridge; studies of a river, oils 1913, March, 'a Roling Sky'; 'Hor Point't. 1914, January, Lanhams, #22 'The last load' 1914, January, Dunster and The Quantock 1914, March, Show Day, three works in coloured chalks 1915, March 1920, February, Lanhams; 'Boats at Lelant'; 'Flatford Mill, Suffolk' 1920, April, Spring Exhibition 1920, May 1923, March 1924, March, watercolours of Venices STISA 1932, 37 and 1951 FoB, Touring Shows PLYMOUTH ART GALLERY 1922, joint exhibition of the St Ives and Newlyn colonies Cheltenham Exhibition of St Ives artists Whitechapel (1902); Lanham's 1921
STISA: 1927-1952; STIAC: President, 1910, 29 and 38
Sources: (Special correspondent: David Tovey)
T Cross Shining Sands
Dowdeswell Exh Cat (see Hardie 2009 for repr)
Glanville letter signatory (Nov 1898)
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn & West Cornwall p349
Johnson & Greutzner
Newton et al Painting at the Edge
St Ives Times (28 Mar 1913)
Tovey Creating a Splash
Whitechapel Exh Cat (see Hardie 2009 for repr)
Whybrow St Ives
C Wood Victorian Painters