June Furlong 1930 - 2020
Legendary life model June Furlong was born in Liverpool in 1930. She started modelling at the Liverpool College of Art and Design in 1947 and dropped her robe for the last time in 1995, aged 65.
June was first suggested as a life model by art student Don McKinlay when she was 17. McKinlay recommended her to tutor Arthur Ballard, who was then Liverpool's most significant post-war artistic personality, and the foundations for June’s impressive career were set.
Nearly every art student that passed through Liverpool between the 1960s and the early 1990s will have drawn or painted her at some point, capturing her changing physical appearance.
“Galleries may come and go, art colleges become polytechnics, then universities, new artists appear, old artists die, ambitious artists leave for the greener pastures of the south, but June is still here, constant as the Liver Birds.”
– Quote from ‘The Collection: The Liverpool School of Art and Design’ published in 2008 by LJMU
She attributed her success to having a classical look and the ability and stamina to hold a pose, not just for “the hour or day, but every day for weeks at a time”.
When he was a student at the college, John Lennon famously drew the only item of clothing on her body - her wristwatch.
Other artists took a more traditional approach, and Furlong modelled for Augustus John, Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach among others during her 50-year career.