Albert John Sherman

b. 1882, Cornwall, United Kingdom
d. 1971, Sydney, Australia

Following an early 'apprenticeship' in his father's carriage building workshop, Albert Sherman studied art at Truro Art School, in Cornwall.  Sherman's training included not only painting and drawing, but also sculpture, ceramics, cabinetry, woodcarving and metalwork.  Sherman received numerous awards for painting and drawing while at Truro Art School and became a highly skilled wood and metal worker, even taking on private commissions for cabinetry and carving.  After graduating in 1905, Sherman took up a role as an instructor at the School.  

In 1922 Sherman and his wife, Ethel, immigrated to Sydney, Australia. Although initially finding it difficult to break into the Sydney art scene, by the 1930s Sherman was exhibiting regularly with the Royal Art Society and participating in other group shows.  Sherman's first solo exhibitions were held at Rubery Bennett's Gallery in Sydney in 1938 and Sedon Galleries in Melbourne in 1939.  The response to these solo shows was very strong and he was able to build on this success throughout the 1940s.  By the 1950s and 1960s his work was widely known and collected. 

Sherman's flower paintings combine his formidable technical skill, and perfectionism, with a genuine love for nature.  He worked from his home studio, personally selecting and arranging his flowers, and always painting from life. His aim was to faithfully capture the truth and beauty of his subject, whether a bowl of brightly coloured zinnias, light falling on the velvety petals of a rose in full bloom, or the lush abundance of his favourite flower, the peony.   An article in the Sydney Mail in 1935 said of Sherman:

"In his flower studies he treats each bloom as a painter of miniatures would treat a portrait — it is work of complete devotion."

"Our Coloured Pictures", Sydney Mail, 4 December 1935, p 3

 

Sherman was a Fellow of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales.  His works are represented in the Art Gallery of NSW and other private collections. 

               

 

Selected Bibliography:

Cammack, William FJ, Albert John Sherman : Cornish Australian artist, WFJ Cammack, Penrith, NSW, 2005

Corringham, Mary, Art & Artists, The Daily Mirror, 9 January 1959

Court, Arthur L, Foreword, Exhibition of Flower Paintings by Albert J Sherman (catalogue), W Rubery Bennett Galleries, Hunter Street Sydney, 16 March to 2 April 1938

Harcourt, John, "Moderns" at the University, The Argus, Melbourne, 5 August 1941, p 6

MacDonald, Enid N, Paintings of Flowers: A Garden of Art, Modes Old and New, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 2 April 1938 p 7

Sherman, Albert, The flower paintings of Albert Sherman with an introduction by Howard Ashton, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1955

Our Coloured Pictures, Sydney Mail, 4 December 1935, p 3

Flower Paintings: Mr. A. J. Sherman's Exhibition, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 16 March 1938, p 11

A Realist with Flowers, The Age, Melbourne, 6 June 1939, p 7

Studies of Flowers, The Argus, Melbourne, 6 June 1939, p 11

Best Art Show for Many Years, The Sun, Sydney, 13 September 1943, p 4

Worth Reporting: Flower "sitters" for artists, The Australian Women's Weekly, 6 January 1954, p 15