by Hilary Chapman  
1917 James Edward Bostock was born I I th June at Hanley, Staffs. He was the son of
William George Bostock (d. 1948) and Amy (d. 1976) and came from a family of
potters and glass-workers. He was brought up in Kent and attended Borden
Grammar School, Sittingbourne.
  1933-36 Attended Medway School of Art in Rochester.
Undertook post-graduate study at the Royal College of Art where his tutors included Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious and John and Paul Nash. Joined the Design School, studying mural and decorative painting, and the Engraving School.
Awarded RCA certificates in etching, wood engraving and lithography.
Awarded diploma of ARCA, 1939
According to Bostock the greatest artistic influence on him at the RCA was Paul Nash. He made such a vivid impression on Bostock that he claimed he learnt more about art from Nash in a one and a quarter hour tutorial than from anyone else.
  1939 (September) Joined the Civil Defence Camouflage Establishment at Leamington Spa.
20th December, married Gwladys Irene; three sons (Philip b.1946, Michael b.1950, Christopher b. 1959).

Conscripted into the Army for war service, firstly with the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry and then with the Durham Light Infantry in the Western Desert. Later he became a Sergeant in the Royal Corps of Signals (1942) in a High Grade Cipher Unit at GHQ Middle East and Turkey. Demobilised February 1946. In later years Bostock wrote and illustrated an amusing and interesting account of his war experiences in the Middle East and North Africa, 'Snapshots of a Distant War', unpublished manuscript, 1996, Copy held at the 'Second World War Experience Centre' in Leeds.

  1946 Appointed Senior Lecturer in Art at Ealing School of Art.
From this time Bostock undertook many commissions for commercial work alongside the production of his own paintings and prints. One he found most interesting was from the Natural History Museum when he was asked to provide a painting ofthe case containing the famous dolphin 'Pelaurus Jack' who guided fishermen through dangerous waters.
  1947 Elected Associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers.
  1950 Elected member of the Society of Wood Engravers.
In the early 1950s Bostock introduced a modernist, semi-abstract style into his wood engravings, often with added colour. 
  1956 (August) Seriously injured in a road accident. A period of two years spent recovering before returning to teaching at Ealing.

Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers.
(September) Appointed Head of Diploma Studies at Stoke on Trent College of Art.

  1964 (October) Appointed Vice-Principal of the West of England College of Art.
(December) Moved to live in Bristol.
Between 1965 and 1980 Bostock virtually abandoned wood engraving due to pressure of work, although he continued to paint and draw.
  1970 Exhibition of watercolours and wood engravings at the Mignon Gallery Bath.
  1971 Exhibition of watercolours and wood engravings at the Van Dyck Gallery
(University of Bristol).
Appointed Academic Development Officer at Bristol Polytechnic.
1978 Retired from academic life and moved to Broadstairs, Kent.
  1979 Exhibition of watercolours and wood engravings at Margate Library Gallery.
  1980 Exhibition of watercolours and wood engravings at Deal Library Gallery.
  1981 Exhibition of watercolours and wood engravings at Broadstairs Library Gallery.
  1988 (April) Works included in an exhibition arranged by Camberwell Press which travelled to USA; Los Angeles, Oakland, Santa Cruz and Anaheim.
(August) Exhibition of wood engravings at Library Gallery, Folkestone, Kent.
(September) Exhibition of wood engravings at Cliff Street Gallery, Ramsgate, Kent.
  1989 (May) Exhibition of watercolours and wood engravings at Phillip Maslen Galleries,
Bostock executed his last wood engraving (Three Trees) this year due to deteriorating eyesight and the onset of arthritis.
  1996 (19th April -28th April) One of nineteen artists included in an exhibition at the
Bankside Gallery, London organised by Hilary Paynter, Wood Engraving; An
exhibition of prints by artists who are members o f both The Royal Society of Painter
Printmakers and Society of Wood Engravers.
  1997 (15"' February - 19"' April) Wood engravings included in a major exhibition,
Twentieth-Century British Wood Engraving: A Celebration ...and a Dissenting Voice', at
the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter. Curated by Hal Bishop. (The
exhibition moved to Hereford City Museum and Art Gallery, 3rd May - 8th June.)
  1998 (24th July- 18th September) Exhibition of watercolours and wood engravings at
Exeter Museum and Art Gallery, curated by Hal Bishop.
(21st Nov - 12th Dec.) Exhibition of wood engravings at the 20th Century Gallery,
  2002 (November) Major retrospective exhibition of wood engravings and other works
at the 20" Century Gallery, London.