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Painting 1959–1960/61
© the estate of John Wells. Photo credit: Birmingham Museums Trust

Painting 1959–1960/61 1957–1961

John Wells (1907–2000)

Birmingham Museums Trust

Painter of landscapes and abstracts, born in London but brought up in Ditchling, Sussex. His father was a doctor and Wells qualified in medicine at University College Hospital, 1925–30. While a medical student he studied in evenings at St Martin’s School of Art, 1927–8, on a visit to Cornwall meeting the artists Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood. After working in a hospital for six years, Wells had a medical practice in the Isles of Scilly, 1936–45, when he moved to Newlyn and began painting full-time in Stanhope Forbes’ old studio. Wells had first showed in the Daily Express Young Artists Exhibition in 1927; he had his first one-man show at Lefevre Gallery in 1946. In that year he was co-founder of the Crypt Group in St Ives, three years later helping to found the Penwith Society.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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