Remembering Josephine Harris NEAC (1931-2020)

close
painting of Plymouth Harbour

We were saddened to hear the news of the passing of our friend and colleague Josephine Harris.

Diana Armfield remembers, “It was either Josephine or Charlotte Halliday that was the longest standing member when I first joined in 1970. Josephine was the one who would warmly welcome new members into the Club. She was a committed member – showing year in, year out – and I really looked forward to catching up with her at our Annual Exhibitions.”

Maurice Sheppard also shares his memories:

“As Secretary to Peter Greenham, Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools, Josephine (Jo) Harris was a picture of calm and control when I turned up in 1970 demanding to see Mr Greenham . . . "I'm not going to leave until I do!"  Taking two of my large oil paintings I had ‘walked out’ of the Painting School at Kingston College of Art and I was off to ‘stand up’ for figurative painting and my landscape art in particular. It was that key day in my life when I saw red and Jo was ‘in on it!’

"Jo became a friend when we met at the RWS. I always enjoyed calling into her workshop off Barnes, Church Road, where she put her drawing skills to work on engraving glass. She was a true Art Club Member. She knew the Rule Book and who worked for the RWS, the New English or the Art Workers Guild. She hid her own natural lyric drawing talent, though she was the first to peer over her spectacles at a candidates list and ask, "But can he draw?"

"Her serious accident in 1986 at her home in Melville Road, Barnes, saw her take refuge for a long period in The Pearl Convalescent Home at Hartley, near Plymouth. She wrote good letters with a broad clear hand. Of her work, can I say that it would be good to set an examination question: "Compare and contrast the drawings of Josephine Harries and Charlotte Halliday and what do we gain from this experience?" Just look and you will see."