glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
home
arts
literature
social sciences
special features
discussion
about glbtq
   search

 
   Encyclopedia
   Discussion
 
 

   member name
  
   password
  
 
   
   Forgot Your Password?  
   
Not a Member Yet?  
   
JOIN TODAY. IT'S FREE!

 
  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy
  Copyright

 

 

 

 

 
arts

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

     
Minton, John (1917-1957)  

John Minton was a painter of landscapes, town scenes, and figure subjects in oil and watercolor, as well as an acclaimed illustrator. Minton's homosexuality was an important influence on his work. One of his main themes was the young male figure in emotionally charged settings.

Like many middle class gay men of his generation, Minton was drawn to men who fulfilled a manly ideal, and this attraction manifested itself in much of his work, where he portrayed his handsome working class lovers and other ideals of masculinity such as Guardsmen and matadors.

Sponsor Message.

A key figure of the 1940s neo-Romantic movement and a celebrity of London's bohemia, Minton lived and worked with most of the younger generation of neo-Romantic artists including Michael Ayrton, Robert Colquhoun, Robert MacBryde, and Keith Vaughan.

Born on December 25, 1917, Minton studied at St John's Wood School of Art from 1935 to 1938 and later went on to teach at Camberwell School of Art (1943-1946), Central School of Art and Crafts (1946-1948), and the Royal College of Art (1948 until his death in 1957).

Minton's early work focused on the urban landscape he discovered during nocturnal jaunts around London, where he also discovered an active sexual underground. Visits to Spain in 1949 and Jamaica in 1950 offered Minton a fresh repertoire of subjects and enriched his palette of colors.

Although Minton was dedicated to painting, his reputation developed as a result of his skill as an illustrator. He produced a large number of illustrations for a wide range of books, such as Time Was Away by Alan Ross (1948) and French Country Cooking by Elizabeth David (1951), as well as for magazines such as The Listener and The Radio Times.

Minton's illustrative style became the fashionable norm of the 1940s, but after 1950, with the arrival and increasing popularity of abstraction, his figurative style went out of fashion.

Between 1950 and 1952 Minton lived openly with his lover Ricky Stride, a bodybuilding ex-sailor. Theirs was a volatile relationship and ended as a result of almost constant fighting, which often resulted in violence on Stride's part.

On January 12, 1950, The Listener published a letter Minton wrote in response to a review of a new biography of Oscar Wilde by Herbert Read in which Dr. Marie Stopes discussed Wilde's sexuality and relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas in a denigrating fashion. Outraged, Minton pointed out the enormous contribution made to society by homosexuals and highlighted the fact that "the same vicious law which imprisoned Wilde still operates" and pleaded for a "saner and more comprehensive attitude towards the homosexual in society."

Minton's character revealed some great contradictions--his wild gaiety and love of wit and banter disguised and competed with an inner melancholy that verged on depression. Towards the end of his life, Minton began to express an obsession with death, and he was particularly moved by the death of film star and symbol of disaffected youth James Dean.

Minton's last painting, which remained unfinished, was initially based upon a car crash that he had witnessed in Spain; but it also, he told his friend Ruskin Spear, represented "James Dean and all that." As a result the painting was posthumously titled Composition: The Death of James Dean in September 1955.

On January 20, 1957 John Minton committed suicide by taking an overdose of Tuinal.

Shaun Cole

     

    
 interact  
   
Contact Us
 
Join the Discussion
 
 find 
   
Related Entries
 
More Entries by this contributor
 
A Bibliography on this Topic

 
Citation Information
 
More Entries about The Arts
 
   
spacer
Popular Topics:

Literature

 
Williams, Tennessee
Williams, Tennessee


Literary Theory: Gay, Lesbian, and Queer


The Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance


Romantic Friendship: Female
Romantic Friendship: Female


Feminist Literary Theory


American Literature: Gay Male, 1900-1969
American Literature: Gay Male, 1900-1969


Erotica and Pornography
Erotica and Pornography


Mishima, Yukio
Mishima, Yukio


Sadomasochistic Literature


Beat Generation
Beat Generation

 
 


   Related Entries
  
arts >> Overview:  European Art: Twentieth Century

A large number of significant twentieth-century European artists focused on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender themes, making such concerns crucial to the understanding of twentieth-century European art.

arts >> Dean, James

Although he spent only two years in Hollywood before his untimely death, James Dean became an enduring icon of American film, one whose brooding non-conformity helped challenge rigid notions of masculinity.

arts >> Vaughan, Keith

A painter of figures and landscapes in oils and gouache, British artist Keith Vaughan specialized in the depiction of male nudes in landscape.


    Bibliography
   

Graham, Rigby. John Minton: A Commemorative Exhibition. Aylestone, Leicester, U. K.: Cog Press, 1967.

John Minton, 1917-1957. An Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Illustrations. London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1958.

John Minton, 1917-1957: Paintings, Drawings, Illustrations and Stage Designs. J. Rothenstein, intro. Reading, U. K.: Reading Museum and Art Gallery, 1974.

John Minton, 1917-1957: A Selective Retrospective. Newtown, Wales: Oriel 31, 1994.

Spalding, Frances. Dance Till the Stars Come Down: A Biography of John Minton. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1991.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Cole, Shaun  
    Entry Title: Minton, John  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated February 7, 2004  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/minton_j.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

This Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.

www.glbtq.com is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.