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About the Artist

His Art:

John Booth is primarily a painter. He prefers to work on the spot making as few changes as possible afterwards. He has travelled a good deal and his exhibitions record his movements. He has exhibited in mixed exhibitions including the Royal Academy. But he prefers to get a body of work together before having a one man show. These have taken place every two or three years with usually about a hundred works in each show. When working as a teacher he used the galleries at Eton and at Oundle. He had a show, too, at Birmingham University. Since retirement he has had solo exhibitions at the Grosvenor Galleries in Albermarle Street and the Grapevine Gallery in Norwich. In November 2010 he had a show at Mandells Gallery at Elm Hill in Norwich.

His preferred medium is probably acrylic but he works in pen and ink and watercolour. His palette is mainly drawn from earth colours. He has work in public and private collections in this country and abroad.
A fairly recent enthusiasm has been John Booth's ceramics. His influences have been the early pots from Greece and Italy. At his home in Norwich he has a kiln and a kick wheel. On it he throws small thin classically shaped pots, which are then burnished, and wood fired.


As Head of Art at Oundle he did much to raise the profile of his subject. He converted the school museum, The Yarrow, into a gallery where pupils work could be displayed. The gallery was open to the public and had a programme of regular exhibitions. Shows included Royal College students paintings, a John Piper retrospective, The Royal Society of Watercolorists permanent collection, work by John Ruskin and prints by Albrecht Durer. He exhibited his own work there too and shared a large two man with his friend and colleague the painter Alan Robb.

As Drawing Master at Eton he taught a whole generation of creative people who now work in the creative arts either as painters or gallery owners and art dealers. In his time at Eton the Drawing Schools were very much a social centre for the pupils and staff at the school. There were always exhibitions of work in the school galleries. As the popularity of the subject increased so the staff grew with specialist teachers in painting, printmaking, sculpture and ceramics. When the school acquired the Barrett Brownings Casa Guidi in Florence, John Booth took a party of senior pupils to paint for a week in the city every year. The popularity of the subject led the school to rebuild the Drawing Schools. This was a three million pound project and Eton College, on his retirement, had the largest department in any secondary school in the country.


John Booth is a keen sailor. He owns a Gunter rigged Broads Sailing Cruiser that he keeps, with his vintage rowing skiff, on the River Yare below his house in Norwich. He is also a keen swimmer.

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