TURNER, John Doman

1871 - 1938

Born at Lambeth, Surrey in 1871, second son of Edmund Turner, a carpenter & builder, and his wife Sarah Ann née Staff, who were both born in Norfolk and married at Norwich in 1859, and in 1861 living at 26 Distillery Street, Heigham, Norwich, before moving to 4 Harbour Street, Lambeth for the birth of John in the 3rd quarter of 1871. In 1881, John was a 9 year old still living at Harbour Street with his parents, 42 year old John and 42 year old Sarah Ann, with his elder brother, 20 year old Edmund, born Norwich, an assistant schoolmaster. John received artistic training through a sequence of some thirty letters dated 1908-1913 from artist Spencer Gore (1878-1914) whilst John was working as a stockbroker's clerk, the correspondence was used by Esther Freud (born 1963) in her novel 'The Sea House' and Turner wrote from Southwold Harbour, Suffolk on 29 May 1936 to James Bolivar Manson (1879-1945) about the letters. He seems to have added a second name of Doman when he married at Norwich on 25 November 1893, Frances Elizabeth, daughter of Norwich carpenter George Birch and in 1911, a 40 year old stockbroker's clerk, living at 63 Dowton Avenue, Streatham Hill, Wandsworth, London with his 38 year old wife Frances, who was born at Norwich. Gore proposed that his pupil John Doman Turner, who worked in pencil, charcoal, chalk, and watercolour but not in oils, as one of the 16 members of the Camden Town Group when it formed in 1911 and he painted in Walberswick and Southwold areas of Suffolk from 1911 until at least 1936, his works included the 'Southwold Scroll' a view of this Suffolk town's Trinity Fair, painted from 1933. He rolled up the scroll, following the showmen and women, to Laxfield, Stradbroke, Aldeburgh on their seasonal tour of East Anglia. The scroll 21 inches high by 123 feet long was acquired and restored by Adnams Brewery and now adorns Southwold's Swan Hotel's dining room. He also painted around Mitcham, Surrey before the First World War particularly on the annual visit of the fun-fair on Mitcham Common which were exhibited in London. His extant drawings of Ilfracombe, Tenby, Eastbourne and Folkestone probably reflect holidays in these seaside towns. He completed at least three other panoramic scrolls of the Suffolk Coast, in 1930 depicted houses along Southwold's Ferry Road, next came a 123-foot 'A Dioramic Pictorial Record of a Suffolk Village' which detailed every dwelling in Walberswick and, after his Trinity Fair, a portrait of a travelling circus, which in now in the London Theatre Museum. He died from pneumonia at his Streatham home on 3 January 1938, his age given incorrectly as 65. A major exhibition of his work was displayed in the University of Hull in 1997.





Works by This Painter