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Gryphon Gallery: Rosemary James Cross

Stuart Brambley, School Archivist
Rosemary James was born on April 26, 1924
Rosemary studied at Glenlyon Norfolk School (Norfolk House) from 1931 to 1942, except for one year in England as a nine-year-old under the tutelage of a governess. During her NHS years, she competed in elocution classes in the Victoria Musical Festival, was a student with the Dorothy Cox Dancing School and appeared in many of their recitals. She took part in riding events at Victoria Riding Academy at the old Exhibition Grounds in Oak Bay, winning the Under 16 class when she was only 12. She also assisted her father, well-known local architect Percy Leonard James, before moving to Toronto to work as a secretary-bookkeeper for architects.

After her marriage to George Cross in 1953 and the arrival of three children she lived in Winnipeg and Saskatoon, where she received her BA from the University of Saskatchewan, majoring in fine arts.

On moving to Fredericton she taught art and exhibited her work, which was acquired by the New Brunswick Art Bank.

Returning to Victoria, in 1978, she established herself as a painter and then turned to writing, self-publishing a very readable book about her father's architectural career. This book earned her the Mark Madoff Award in 2005, the Heritage Award of BC, an Honourable Mention from the BC Historical Association, and a medal of Honorary Membership in the Architectural Institute of BC.

A passionate painter, producing works highly praised by local art critic Robert Amos, an enthusiastic gardener and homemaker, her interests included embroidery, crafting silver jewelry, dressmaking, knitting, travelling, photography, binding and collecting of books. 

Rosemary James Cross passed away peacefully on November 18, 2016 at the age of 92.
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We wish to acknowledge and respect the Lekwungen-Speaking Peoples on whose traditional territory we stand, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and Wsáneć Peoples whose historical relationships with the land, where we live, work, play and learn, continue to this day.