John William (Will) Ashton (1881-1963) Australia

Biographical Information

Sir John William (Will) Ashton was born in York, England, in 1881 and moved to Australia with his family in 1884.

He studied in Adelaide under his father, James Ashton; in St Ives, Cornwall under Julius Olsson and Algernon Talmadgeand at the Academie Julien, Paris.

On his return from his studies in England and Europe, Ashton held successful exhibitions of his impressionist pictures of popular resorts and from then on spent much of his life travelling and repeating this initial success.

As a prolific painter of this type of picturesque work Ashton became a strong and influential opponent of the modern movement in Australia.

He was Art Adviser to the trustees, National Gallery of South Australia from 1913-16 and director-secretary of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1937-44. From 1953-63 Ashton was chairman of the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board.

He was awarded the OBE in 1942 and a knighthood in 1960.

Ashton died in New South Wales in 1963

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Market Information

Victory Celebration, Martin Place, Sydney, 1919
Highest Price:
Victory Celebration, Martin Place, Sydney, 1919
Oil on canvas, 76.5 x 61 cm
100 Important Australian Paintings, Deutscher and Hackett, Melbourne.
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 Total number soldNumber with imagesHighest priceRecent average price*
Paintings1,178514A$99,000 A$3,857
Works on Paper13119A$4,000 N/A
Prints & Graphics8813A$2,146 N/A

* Calculated on sales over the last three years, where there are a sufficient number of sales over that period.

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