The remarkable life of June Furlong

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Without June Furlong the Beatles might never have existed.

In 1958, John Lennon was a student at Liverpool College of Art when he heard about the death of his mother. June was a model and found him looking suicidal in front of the open doors at the top of a lift shaft.

She talked him away from it, and he was sent home in a taxi with a bottle of whisky by his tutor.

June turned 90 last month and we’ve been finding out more about her remarkable life.

June was long-time model for Liverpool Art School (which later became Liverpool Polytechnic and John Moores University).

June was first suggested as a life model when she was 17, and she continued modelling up to the age of 65. Nearly every art student that passed through Liverpool between the 1960s and the early 1990s will have drawn or painted her at some point.

As a model, she posed for Lucien Freud, who described her as “an exotic creature with a deep penetrating mind.”  She socialised with Francis Bacon and the art crowd in Soho.

You can find out more about June using the links below:

  • A play, set during the Covid-19 lockdown, is being planned about her remarkable life. The play is being written by Liverpool Arts Duo Moira Kenny and John Campbell, who call themselves The Sound Agents. Click here to find out more.
  • The Williamson Art Gallery online exhibition collects together a small selection of works and photographs for which June modelled during her career. The exhibition is on until 31 July. For more details see here.
  • See June on BBC’s A House Through Time here. June talks to David Olusoga, a resident of Liverpool’s Falkner Street for 87 years, about her colourful memories from the second world war.
  • See a video of June talking about John Lennon here.
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HOP Network Coordinator

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