Green Books author John Lane passes away

We are sad to have to report that John Lane, the artist, writer and arts
administrator, died on 17th August.

John was educated at the Slade School of Art and the University of
London’s Institute of Education. He taught in schools and at Bretton
Hall College of Education in Yorkshire, and after moving to Devon
with his wife Truda became the founding director of the Beaford
Arts Centre in Devon, and was instrumental in the creation of the
Orchard Theatre, the Plough Arts Centre, and Schumacher College,
the international Centre for Ecological Studies at Dartington.

For many years he was a Trustee of the Dartington Hall Trust, where
he worked with Maurice Ash, John Pontin and others to continue
Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst’s experiment in rural regeneration.
John travelled widely, giving lectures and workshops in India,
Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Japan, and his paintings were
widely exhibited. He was the Art Editor of Resurgence magazine for
over ten years.

He wrote numerous books over the years, all informed by his profound
knowledge of the arts and his interest in contemporary spirituality.
Of these, the best known is Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a
Consumer Society, first published in 2001 and reprinted many times.
He also wrote In Praise of Devon, a celebration of the county where
he lived for over forty years, and his final book, published in 2010,
was The Art of Ageing: Inspiration for a Positive and Abundant Later Life.
John was a Director of Green Books for over 20 years.

John Lane made a unique contribution to the arts in Devon, and will
be greatly missed.


  1. Thank you for this write-up. I only knew John through his work for Resurgence – always interesting, often profoundly so – and found ‘Timeless Simplicity’ a very moving read. I’ll still miss him, and hope his life and work continue to resonate with folk young and old.

  2. Very sad. I was just reading through In Praise of Devon, a book authored by him, on Google Books, and thought I’d find out more about the author. Sad to hear of his passing.

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