Jan and Cora Gordon were artists, travelers, writers and musicians; their combined body of work provides a vivid and intimate connection with the Europe of the period from before the First World War to the 1930s.
England 1879 (Cora) - 1906, 1882 (Jan) -1907 (including nearly two years in the Malay Peninsula)
London 1932-1944 (Jan), -1950 (Cora).
A teenage Cora Josephine Turner forced her father, a "respectable man of medicine", to allow her to study art by threatening to go on stage, "an even less respectable profession." She then succeeded in his condition of passing the L.R.E.M. music examination within three months in order to be permitted to leave for France. See: http://janandcoragordonart.blogspot.com/2015/05/cora-gordon-in-glasgow-1948.html
Their pre-WW1 existence in Paris is full of fascinating connections with the celebrated artists and poets of that revolutionary time (see: http://janandcoragordonart.blogspot.com/ for many articles on their famous Bohemian acquaintances, never before deciphered).
In a 1912 issue of The Studio can be found an early reference to the work of Jan Gordon exhibited at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris: "Amongst the works by British and American artists in this Salon the most able and sincere were shown by Mr. Jan Gordon, ...."
Jack Bilbo wrote an obituary for Jan in this same magazine 32 years later ( http://www.pbase.com/hajar/obituary ). “I remember when he and Cora used to sit in my den on Saturday afternoons when the gallery was closed, when we exchanged travel experiences from Spain and Yugoslavia, from Mexico and Scandinavia, or talked about artists and paintings, how the four walls of my little room seemed to move away into far distances.”
Following Jan's death Cora continued to write, paint and give public lectures. "Wearing a silver turban and a black cloak over her white lace blouse and long full velvet skirt, emphasising her pale creamy complexion, and with long slender fingers, she looked every inch the artist." ( http://www.pbase.com/hajar/image/144548272 )
Two useful biographical essays on the Gordons by K.J. Bryant can be found in "Book and Magazine Collector" (March 1990) and the preface to the 2007 Bene Factum edition of "Two Vagabonds in Languedoc" (he later produced a website which is frustratingly error-prone, weakly researched and notorious for unacknowledged borrowings and delusional statements). A large number of more recent short essays with abundant original material can be found here: http://janandcoragordonart.blogspot.com/