James Taylor Brown
A fundraising effort by three local brothers has enabled a headstone to be put on the grave of a local artist, James Taylor Brown.
Taylor Brown as he was known professionally was born 1868 and died in 1923 at the age of 57.
At an early age it became evident that he would be an accomplished artist .He was fortunate to be tutored by the ‘Glasgow Boys’ who were a group of distinguished artists.
At the age of 28 he opened a shop next to where Boots Chemist is now in Stewarton at which time he was able to devote his life fully to his painting. Subsequently he had exhibitions in the Royal Scottish Academy, the Glasgow Institute of fine arts and The Society of Scottish Artists. A number of Cities down south also invited him to exhibit. Posthumously there have been exhibitions, the la st of which was in Kilmarnock in 1996.
The three brothers Robert, Duncan and John Conning who are from Stewarton strongly felt that it was wrong that James Taylor Brown was buried in the town’s cemetery, with other members of his family, in an unmarked grave.
The Co-op Funeral Service donated the headstone and the local council waived their cemetery costs. This left the engraving to be done on the headstone. One way in which the brothers raised the £500 costs was by making and selling at a cost of £5 each a DVD on which one song is called Taylor Brown.