John William Lewin – First artist settler in New South Wales in 1800

In working on the family history for my parents over the past few months as a lockdown project I have come across some interesting articles & artists who I have not looked at in any great detail since my art college days when I studied Australian art history. One of these was J W Lewin.

John William Lewin (J W Lewin) was the son of a professional artist, William Lewin. He was born 1770 in England but in 1880 came to Australia as the first professional artist settler to New South Wales.

It can be noted that this was after missing the boat his wife travelled on in 1879, can’t help but think she would not have been impressed!

He was granted a small farm at Parramatta in 1808.

Love this drawing of a Waratah – Telopia speciosissima – completed in the years just after he arrived. You can see this whole sketch book at the State Library of NSW.

Waratah – Botanical sketches of Australian plants 1803-1806 by John Lewin

This is a great video from the State Library of NSW & along with the NSW State Archives, the National Library of Australia, the National Museum of Australia & the National Archives have some terrific resources for anyone researching their family history, the early indigenous stories of Australia & settlement by those who came from 1788 onwards.

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