John Henry Amshewitz

Born – 1882, Ramsgate, England

Died – 1942, Muizenberg, South Africa

Resided in SA 1916-22 and from 1936. A painter of portraits, landscapes and from 1921 onwards of over 200 still life paintings, also depicted historical scenes. Worked in oil, pastel, watercolour, guache and ink. An etcher. 1914 elected a member of the Royal Society of British Artists. A founder member of the Johannesburg Sketch Club and a member of the SA Society of Artists. 1917-21 a cartoonist for The Rand Daily Mail and The Sunday Times, also illustrated journals. 1922-36 lived in England. Among the many books he illustrated are Ghetto Comedies and Ghetto Tragedies by Israel Zangwill, The Hagadah edited by Maurice Myers, Myths and Legends of Ancient Israel by Angelo Rappaport, 3 volumes, 1928, London and A Fool on the Farm by Leonard Flemming.

Artist CV


1898-1900 Birkbeck Institute, London; Art Academy, Edinburgh; 1902-07 received a bursary to study at the Royal Academy Schools, London, under John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), Sir Luke Fildes (1843-1927), Sir George Clausen (1852-1944), J Solomon Solomon (1860-1927) and Arthur Hacker (1858-1919). Winner of the Royal Academy School's natural prize.


Participated in numerous group exhibitions from 1905 in SA, Australia, Canada, the UK, France, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Mozambique, Singapore, the USA and Zimbabwe; 1916 Johannesburg, first of numerous solo exhibitions in SA and the UK;1943 Duncan Hall, Johannesburg, Memorial Exhibition.


Africana Museum, Johannesburg; Albany Museum, Grahamstown, Ann Bryant Gallery, East London; Brakpan, Municipal Collection; Durban Art Gallery; Johannesburg Art Gallery; Julius Gordon Africana Centre, Riversdale, King George VI Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth; Metropolitan Museum, New York, USA; Pretoria Art Museum; Rhodes university; SA National Gallery, Cape Town; University of Cape Town; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; William Humphreys Art Gallery, Kimberley; and in public collections in India, Israel and Singapore.

Public Commissions

 Murals; 1907 Town Hall, Liverpool, UK; 1910 Royal Exchange, London, UK; 1921 St Michaels and All Angels Church, Boksburg, Transvaal; 1934 South Africa House, London, UK; 1935 William Cullen Library, University of the Witwatersrand; & eacute;1936 Eu Tong Sen Collection, Singapore; 1937 Great Trek Panel in the Vestibule, City Hall, Pretoria; 1938 City Hall, Pretoria; 1941 two panels, Main Hall, New General Post Office, Cape Town; 1941 All Saints Church, Muizenberg, Cape Province. Numerous portrait commissions including Professor Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi and other public figures.

John Henry Amshcewitz John Henry Amshcewitz John Henry Amshcewitz