An Obituary for Jan Gordon in the New York Times

I recently found this obituary for Jan Gordon in the New York Times of February 3rd 1944.


British Author, Lecturer and Traveler - Expert Player of Guitar, Mandolin


LONDON, Feb. 2 - Godfrey Jervis Gordon, artist, author, art critic, folk musician, lecturer and traveler, who wrote under the name Jan Gordon, died today at his home in London. He would have been 62 years old on March 11.

Of his many books, 'Modern French Painters' is outstanding for its lucid analysis of the aims of such movements as Cubism. He had a wide knowledge of the folk music of various countries and was an expert player of such instruments as the guitar and mandolin and knew a good deal about their construction and history.

The son and grandson of clergymen, Jan Gordon, to use the name by which he was generally known, was educated at Marlborough College and the Truro School of Mines. In the first World War he was chief designer of naval camouflage and also saw service with the Red Cross in Serbia during the typhus epidemic.

With his wife, the former Cora Turner, Mr. Gordon became a 'vagabond artist." Together they toured many countries and wrote books, illustrated by their own pens and brushes, describing what they saw and heard. They lived close to the people everywhere, sang the local songs, played the native music on the native instruments.

Mr. and Mrs. Gordon came to New York in the Spring of 1927, announcing, 'We are here to look for romantic America." They wandered north to Bar Harbor, west to the Ohio River, south to Savannah, then told the story in 'On Wandering Wheels,' published in New York in January, 1928. Several of their articles on American scenes appeared in THE NEW YORK TIMES.

Among the books by Jan and Cora Gordon are 'Two Vagabonds in Serbia and Montenegro," 'Two Vagabonds in the Balkans,' Two Vagabonds in Languedoc,' 'Two Vagabonds in Sweden and Lapland,' 'Two Vagabonds in Albania,' 'Star Dust in Hollywood,' 'Three Lands on Three Wheels,' 'A London Roundabout' and 'Portuguese Somersault.' Jan Gordon alone wrote 'A Balkan Freebooter,' 'A Girl in the Art Class,' 'On a Paris Roundabout,' 'Some Craftie Arts,' 'Stepladder to Painting' and 'Elementary Introduction to the Ostwald Colour System.'"

I have recorded other obituaries for both Jan and Cora Gordon here.


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