James B. Anderson RSA 1886-1938
Elected ARSA: 16 March 1932
Elected RSA: 10 February 1937
J. B. Anderson died after half an hour’s illness in the Glasgow Art Club in the afternoon of 19th November. The poignancy of this premature and sudden end is increased by the inevitable inference that it was a sequel to the tragic loss of his son after a yachting accident on the Clyde only last August.
Mr. Anderson was born in Edinburgh on the 14th July 1886, and was educated at Bo’ness Academy. He received his art training at the School of Art at the Mound, Edinburgh, winning a scholarship in his first year: at Patrick Allan Fraser’s College at Hospital field, Arbroath, where he worked for four years under George Harcourt and at Julian’s in Paris.
He held his first exhibition at Bo’ness, and in 1912 settled in Glasgow as a portrait painter. Among his first important commissions were those of Lord Strathclyde, then Alexander Ure, K.C., Lord-Advocate for Scotland, and Sir Robert Murray, Ure’s chief political agent.
Other public presentations followed, including the official portrait of Sir Daniel M. Stevenson, Lord Provost of Glasgow, now in Kelvingrove; James Aikman Smith of the Scottish Rugby Union and W. Campbell Johnstone, LL.D., Deputy Keeper of the Signet. The Constitutional Club selected Mr. Anderson to finish a portrait of Bonar Law which had been begun by the late Sir James Guthrie.
Elected an Associate of the Academy in 1932 he became an Academician in 1936, his Diploma work being a sensitive interpretation of his wife. In our exhibition he was occasionally represented by a still-life group. Mrs. Anderson is his sole survivor, Charles, who was drowned being the only child.
RSA Obituary, transcribed from the 1938 RSA Annual Report