Cora Josephine Turner and the Buxton Amateur Orchestral Society 1901

Cora Josephine Turner (1879-1950), later Cora Gordon, was a keen amateur musician.

A report in the Buxton Advertiser of Saturday April 27th, 1901, gave the programme for the Friday night performance of the Buxton Amateur Orchestral Society and noted that Miss Turner was a violin soloist. She played "Il Trovatore." The concert "was attended by the elite of Buxton society." A portion of the proceeds from the concert were given to the Buxton District Nursing Association.

Born in Buxton in 1879, Cora was 22 at the time. A year later, she became a student of Fine Art Anatomy at the Slade School of Art and studied here until 1906. She appears in a 1905 photograph of the annual Slade Strawberry Picnic.

On finishing her course at the Slade she moved to Paris where she met fellow English artist Jan Gordon. They were married on July 7th 1909 at the Parish Church of Saint Luke, Chelsea. Jan Gordon's 1927 "A Girl in the Art Class" is at least loosely based on their developing relationship in the context of the pre WW1 world of artists in Paris. Raymonde (Cora) in the book was not pleased when a young American in Paris recognised her Slade style: "Make a speciality of stomachs don't ya'? Stomach's wonderful, chest not so good, head stuck on more or less, and arms and legs mostly unfinished. Why, I'd recognize one of those Edals' drawings a mile off."

The 1939 Penguin edition of "Two Vagabonds in Serbia and Montenegro" by Jan and Cora Gordon, a reprint of the 1916 "The Luck of Thirteen", gives the following brief summary of this period of Cora's life:

"Cora J. Gordon compelled her father to allow her to study art by threatening to take up the stage, on which she had been offered a promising start. After a Slade training she took the L.R.A.M. examination in music. Returning to painting she went to Paris, and exhibited her work. In 1909 she married Jan Gordon, ex-mining engineer, who also has exhibited in many important collections, and was an expert banjo player."


Jan and Cora Gordon: 1939 Biographical NotesMay 29, 2014
- Cora Josephine Turner and the Slade School of Art. December 13, 2015
-The Slade Strawberry Picnic of June 23rd 1905. December 04, 2016


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