Artist, furniture maker, silversmith - James Linton taught at Perth Technical College in the art department for 30 years. In 1921 he purchased land in Parkerville and some of his best works from the 1920s are scenes painted of his property.
Born in England in 1869 and educated at Slade School of Fine Arts, James Linton arrived in Albany in 1896. Linton’s father had sent him out to Western Australia to visit a gold mine that he had invested in near Kalgoorlie. As was so often the case in those days, the investment proved to be false, the mine was never worked and the land was valueless.
Following a bout of typhoid, Linton was in Perth by 1899 and soon became established in Western Australia’s artistic circle creating furniture, silverwork and paintings. He won a commission to design a wooden casket to honour the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to WA in 1901. This work led to his employment in 1902 as a teacher in Perth Technical College’s art department. Linton taught at the College for thirty years. Many of his students just dabbled in art, but a few became important figures in the Australian art world.
Linton married Charlotte (Lottie) Bates in 1902 and they had three children. The eldest, Jamie, went on to form an artistic partnership with his father.
Linton purchased a block of land in Parkerville in 1921 and some of his best pictures from the 1920s depict scenes around his property. At first there was just a shack, which was used as a weekender by Linton and his students. By 1938, Linton had moved permanently to Parkerville. He had separated from Lottie and was living with a former student, Betsey Currie (later Linton), who was also a significant WA artist.
A simple wooden house with verandahs front and back was constructed on the property and Linton made many of the fittings and furnishings for the house. During his retirement in Parkerville Linton continued to paint. His last paintings of scenes around Parkerville are considered to be some of his best. Linton died at his home in 1947. One of his paintings, Swan Valley (1920) is part of the Shire of Mundaring’s art collection.