James Gay Sawkins 1806 – 1878

James Gay Sawkins 1806 – 1878, was a British artist, who lived in America, Cuba, and Australia, he returned to Britain in 1855 and became a Member of the Management Committee of the East End Homeopathic Dispensary,

Sawkins lived at 85, St. George’s Street, East London, and in addition to producing many wonderful paintings, he also wrote many books on geology, history and archaeology,

James Gay Sawkins was an artist who was born in 1806 in Yeovil, Somerset, England.

At the age of 14, he moved to Baltimore, Maryland with his family, where he made his living painting miniature portraits on ivory. He lived in Cuba from 1835 to 1845 and visited Hawaii from January, 1850 to June, 1852.

After working in Australia, he returned to England in 1855.

Sawkins died in 1878 in Turnham Green (near London), England.

The Honolulu Academy of Arts, Mission House Museum (Honolulu, Hawaii) and the National Library of Australia (Canberra) are among the public collections holding works by James Gay Sawkins.


3 thoughts on “James Gay Sawkins 1806 – 1878”

  1. James Sawkins is my great-great-great grandfather. Please contact me if you have information about the whereabouts of his paintings. I would like to photograph or buy his paintings. I have a book of his paintings of Hawaii that are located in the National Library in Canbera, Australia. I have photographed about 90 of his Australian watercolors located in the Mitchell Library in Sydney, Australia.

    Please send me an e-mail at txliz@@sbcglobal.net or call me at 432-683-7195 in Midland, Texas, USA.

    My mailing address is: 1203 Country Club Drive, Midland, Texas, USA.

    Elizabeth Taylor

  2. I have a portrait miniature on paper in a metal case that seems to have been painted by James Gay Sawkins. I acquired it in San Francisco and have been researching him for several years now. Quite an interesting fellow.

  3. Anne,

    My e-mail address changed on October 23, 2013, right before you left a message. Such bad luck!

    Please send me an e-mail at my new address:

    [email protected]

    I will be in San Francisco from Dec. 8-17, helping my son recover from a knee surgery he will have on Dec. 10 in SF. My son lives in Oakland, CA; so, I am the SF area, sometimes.

    Simon Mitchell, a professor of geology in Jamaica, is writing a book on James Sawkins and hopes to have it completed by January 2014. Let me know if you might be interested in a copy of the book.

    I would very much like to see your portrait miniature, either in a photo or in person. Please contact me.

    Elizabeth Taylor

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