Stewarton & District Historical Society
Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation SC 011194.
Site updated 21st Sept 2017, by Cutstraw Web Designs.
Dunlop Street 1970D
Stewarton Viaduct 2008
Coat of Arms reproduced by permission of Stewarton Community Council
Springwell Place 1860
James Taylor Brown, Stewarton's famous Artist.
Main Street Stewarton,C:1900, taken from a postcard photographed in B&W and then coloured by J.T.Brown.
James Taylor Brown was born in Kilmarnock in 1868 and moved to Stewarton in 1870, living with his parents at Draffenlea cottage, Loudoun Street. As a boy he showed tremendous promise with his imaginative drawings, sketches and colour work.
This was the beginning of a career in art. Until he was 28, he worked for his sister in her drapers shop in Stewarton. Later he opened his own shop in Main Street, Stewarton, selling newspapers, books and confectionery. His artists studio was at the rear of the shop.
Most of the remainder of his life was devoted to painting. He was fortunate to have the guidance of ,and took lessons from, some distinguished Scottish artists, a group named "the Glasgow Boys", including E.A.Walton, a.r.s.a.
His natural talent at painting country scenes brought him a measure of fame and he had exhibitions in the Royal Scottish Academy, the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts and the Society of Scottish Artists in Edinburgh. Other exhibitions were held in England.
Taylor Brown's pictures were in demand during his lifetime and sold for reasonable sums. Down in England, Leeds Art Gallery purchased one named "Wind Tossed."
The Stewarton artist's pictures varied according,to his frame of mind at the time of painting. When he was feeling well and light-
In 1976 some of Taylor Brown's works were exhibited in the Dick Institute, Kilmarnock, many of them on loan from Stewarton collectors. They included scenes of Rowallan Castle, Robertland Estate, Ballantrae, Dunlop Kirk, Prestonpans shore and the Millhouse, Stewarton.
He died in 1923 at the age of 57. James Taylor Brown was buried in Stewarton Cemetery, beside other members of his family, in an unmarked grave.
Starting in 2009, Robert Conning started a campaign to raise funds for the creation of an engraved head stone to mark the grave.
“Rowallan Castle.” Painted by J.T.Brown.
“River and Mill “ near Stewarton. Painted by J.T.Brown.
Robert Conning of Stewarton, his brothers, and a few friends were successful in their campaign.
The image to the left shows the headstone erected at his grave in September 2014.