James Edward Buchanan Boswell was born in Hokitika in 1906. He studied at the Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland in 1925, then at the Royal College of Art in London until 1929.
In 1927 Boswell exhibited with the London Group. He began commercial work in 1932, and later joined the Communist Party. He was a key figure in Artists International, with cartoons appearing in the ”Left Review“
Before the Second World War, Boswell was the Chief of the Studio of the Asiatic Petroleum Company (Shell). During the war, he served in the ranks in North Africa and elsewhere.
An exhibition of Boswell’s paintings from his war experience was opened in London on 15 May 1944 by Mrs Peter Fraser, the Prime Minister’s wife. Two of Boswell’s war works were purchased by Rt Hon Peter Fraser in 1945, and presented to the country.
Boswell died in 1971.
- Archives New Zealand Documentation, Series 898, National Collection of War Art