John Wesley Cotton Biography

John Wesley Cotton

Canadian American



John Wesley Cotton, painter and etcher, was born in Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada on October 29, 1868. His studies began in Toronto at the Art Students League in 1886, followed by studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1911 he began a two-year period of study with E. M. Wilson in London. During World War I, Cotton spent time in Belgium and France and a body of his work is devoted to the picturesque landscape of Europe.


His first solo exhibition was in Toronto in 1912 and he won a medal for his etchings at the San Francisco Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915. Approximately three years later, Cotton moved to Glendale, California where he maintained a home and studio. Cotton vacationed in Toronto but never relocated to Canada.


Cotton was a member of the California Printmakers Society and the California Watercolor Society. His works are in the repositories of the New York Public Library, Library of Congress, National Gallery in Ottawa, Toronto Art Museum, and the Oakland Public Library.


John Cotton died on November 24, 1931, in Toronto, Canada during a visit.