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John Elliott Burns

3 of 29 portraits of John Elliott Burns

John Elliott Burns, by John Collier, 1889 - NPG 3170 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

John Elliott Burns

by John Collier
oil on canvas, 1889
49 in. x 36 1/4 in. (1245 mm x 921 mm)
Given by the sitter's family, the sitter's family, 1943
Primary Collection
NPG 3170


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  • John Elliott Burns (1858-1943), Trade unionist and politician; MP for Battersea. Sitter in 29 portraits.

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  • John Collier (1850-1934), Portrait painter and writer on art. Artist associated with 21 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.

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Labour leader and politician; left school at ten and became an active trades unionist as an apprentice engineer; joined Social Democratic Foundation in 1885. Elected MP in 1892 but refused to join the Independent Labour Party and moved towards the liberals; became member of cabinet as President of the Local Government Board 1905-14, and of the Board of Trade, 1914; resigned in opposition to the war and took no further part in public life. Painted in the year that Burns became well known for his leadership in the London Dock Strike.

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