Donald Chrisholm Towner (1903 - 1985)

Portrait of Charles Mahoney (1903-1968), 1926


SKU: 4951

Signed and dated 

Oil on canvas 

Height – 61cm
Width – 46cm

1 in stock


From the artist’s personal collection.

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.170.

Mahoney and Towner were fellow students at the RCA. Towner shows the 23 year old Mahoney seated in his studio. Perhaps deliberately, perhaps by chance, Mahoney’s eye defect (Mahoney had lost the sight in his eye in a childhood accident) seems emphasized in this portrait sketch.

Tirzah Garwood recounts  several amusing anecdotes about Mahoney in Long Live Great Bardfield (Fleece Press):Charlie had a glass eye but I thought that on the whole it improved his appearance, giving an interesting and piratical look to a face that as nature intended it, might have belonged to a Sunday School superintendent or a postman‘ p. 100-101

Charles Mahoney at Pevensey circa 1958

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Donald Chrisholm Towner
Donald Chrisholm
1903 - 1985

Painter and ceramics expert, born in Eastbourne, Sussex, great uncle having bequeathed the money to found the Towner Art Gallery in 1923. He studied at Eastbourne School of Art, 1919-23, then the RCA, 1923-26.

From the 1920’s he began to exhibit in mixed London exhibitions. He moved to Hampstead in 1927 which became his home for the rest of his life.

In 1982 a solo exhibition of Sussex paintings was held at Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne which has examples of his work in its permanent collection as does Burgh House, Hampstead. His commissions included the reredos at St. Oswald’s Parish Church, Ashbourne, Derbyshire and another at Abbotsbury, Dorset.

Recollections of a Landscape Painter & Pottery Collector : An autobiography by Donald Chisholm Towner. Published by Born-Hawes, New York 1979.

With thanks to


Donald Chrisholm Towner (1903 - 1985)
Portrait of Charles Mahoney (1903-1968), 1926