James Taylor was born in Burnley. He was at Burnley School of Art between 1935 and 1940, where his teachers included Noel H. Leaver and Harold Thornton. He went on to study at the Slade School of Fine Art, Oxford and the Royal College of Art, London. He was a lecturer at Bolton College of Art from 1948 to 1980.
He worked in a variety of media over a long and distinguished career, as a college lecturer, graphic designer and a landscape painter, see www.james-spencer-taylor.com.
He exhibited his own work at Towneley on a number of occasions and he also contributed to exhibitions of work by Noel Leaver and also an exhibition of the work of his wife, Joyce B Taylor, after her death in 2006.
He is represented by seven works in the watercolour collection. He also donated three oil paintings and three watercolours by his wife and a portrait of Noel Leaver by Leon Underwood.