Transcript of Letter:
Tuesday Feb 9 09
Dear Mr Fletcher,
All Sunday morning I was waiting palette in hand to proceed with portrait and you did not come. Last night Sir C Cameron introduced me to the Corinthians as “Art Inspector for the Department”.
No word from me to that agreed to Cameron so I am out of it – this in case it spirals.
Give me what time you can that I may make a good portrait please? When can you come next.
All good wishes
John Currie was born in Newcastle under Lyme in 1883, the middle child of an Irish Father, Michael Currie and a local girl Barbara Sherlock. He attended both Newcastle and Hanley Art Schools before working at Minton’s painting ceramics. In 1095 he enrolled into the Royal College of Art but returned to Staffordshire in 1907 to marry Jessie Brandon, with whom he had a son, Mark in 1908. About this time he had a position in Bristol as Master of Life Painting, This position was shorted lived as in 1908 he was painting in Ireland and by January 1909 he had enrolled at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Arts where he studied until September of that year, before moving to back to England and taking residence in Cheswick. Throughout these movements his wife and child remained in Newcastle, Staffs.
In 1910 he attended the Slade School of Art, where he joined the ‘Neo-Primitive’ group that included such greats as Mark Gertler, C R W Nevinson, Stanley Spencer, Edward Wadsworth and Adrian Allison. In 1912 he exhibited with the Friday Club and the NEAC and he has his first One Man Exhibition at the Chenil Galllery in 1913.
From autumn 1911 Currie conducted a long and tempestuous affair with an attractive though unintelligent Irish model, Dolly Henry. This ended with Currie shooting her dead at her apartment in Paultons Square, Chelsea on October 8th 1914. He then turned the gun on himself, and died in hospital on the 11th.
His work is to be found in the Tate Collection and The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.