John Evan Thomas FSA
Born 15 January 1810
Died 9 October 1873
Active: 1831 - 1870
Country of birth and death: Wales
Sculptor, magistrate, deputy lieutenant of brecknockshire
Born in Brecon, Brecknockshire. He was sent to study with Francis Chantrey. His younger brother William Meredyth Thomas (1819–1877), was also a student of Chantrey. William Meredyth worked as his assistant for thirty years between 1840-73. Another brother, James Lewis Thomas became a successful architect and chief surveyor to the War Office, also exhibiting painting s at the Royal Academy between 1855-66. John Evan had a very successful career as a sculptor based largely on Welsh patronage.
In 1842 he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Thomas was one of the original sponsors of the Great Exhibition of 1851. He retired to Penisha'r-Pentre, a mansion at Llansbyddyd, Brecknockshire, in 1857 and served as a JP, deputy lieutenant of Brecknockshire in 1862, and high sheriff in 1868. He died at his London address, 58 Buckingham Palace Road.
Wealth at death: £450 0s. 0d.
Probate date: 20 November 1873
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Science Unveiling Ignorance
Exhibitions, Meetings, Awards and other Events
Exhibited at The International Exhibition, London, 1862
Exhibited at The Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, The Eighty-Fourth, 1852
Exhibited at The Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts (Summer Exhibition), 1768-
1838 - 1870
Exhibited 22 times, on average two works per year, portrait busts or models for statues. In 1856 he showed 'The Racket Player' (to be cast in bronze, cat. no. 1251), the same year that his brother, William Meredyth Thomas, showed 'The Cricket Player' (a sketch, cat. no. 1269)
Exhibited at Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations (London), 1851
Exhibited at Fine Art and Industrial Exhibition (Cardiff), 1870
16 August 1870 - 1 October 1870
Institutional and Business Connections
Member of Institute of British Sculptors
1856 (Circa) - 1860 (Circa)
Personal and Professional Connections
Employed as studio assistant William Meredyth Thomas
1840 (Circa) - 1873
After leaving the Royal Academy Schools William worked for his brother John Evan until the latter's death
Sister/sibling of William Meredyth Thomas
The original text of the catalogue (p.14) says W. Merydith Thomas was the son of J. Evan Thomas. However, an unknown hand has crossed this out and written brother.
Studied under Francis Legatt Chantrey
Descriptions of Practice
Listed under Sculptors Post Office London Directory, 1851 Post Office/Kelly London Directories
A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain, 1660-1851
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Mark L. Evans, ‘Thomas, John Evan (1810–1873)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/27228, accessed 14 Jan 2010]
Rules of the Institute of Sculptors
p. iv (confirms he was not a member in 1861)
Citing this record
'John Evan Thomas FSA', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/person.php?id=msib1_1202231164, accessed 30 Aug 2015]