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James Glen Wilson (1827-1863): An Irish Artist in Australia

by Familia Ulster Genealogical Review: No. 03, 1987


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By Eileen Black

"One of the most popular paintings in the Ulster Museum is the Emigrant Ship (Fig. 1 and cover) by a young Irish artist who in later life settled in Australia, James Glen Wilson.

Details of Wilson's career from 1852 until his early death in 1863 are reasonably plentiful. Mystery, however, surrounds his youth and early twenties.

Where in Ireland was he born and who exactly were his family? Where did he study art and what did he do with his life, prior to the age of twenty-five?

Despite considerable research by the author, questions such as these remain unanswered. It is to be hoped that this article will uncover new clues about the artist's enigmatic early years and finish what has become a frustratingly incomplete jigsaw puzzle."

This article looks at the life of James Glen Wilson - a young Irish artist who later settled in Australia - and the mysteries surrounding that life.

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