James began his career at Phillips Auctioneers, and latterly spent ten years at Sotheby's as Head of Modern and Post-war British Art. Amongst many important auctions over he oversaw the landmark sales A Life in Pictures: The Collection of Lord and Lady Attenborough in 2009, The Robert Devereux Collection of Post-War British Art in 2010 and The Evill/Frost Collection in 2011. Since setting up J&J Rawlin with Jessica in 2013, he has curated The Shape of Things: Three Decades of British Modernist Sculpture for Daniel Katz Gallery in 2014 and co-curated the touring exhibition Harold Gilman: Beyond Camden Town in 2018-19. In 2021, he curated the exhibition Coast, Country, City for The Harley Gallery, Welbeck.
James also writes and lectures on British C20th Art and contributed to Revisiting Modern British Art, recently published by Lund Humphries.
Jessica worked at Phillips Auctioneers and then Bonham’s in the Impressionist & Modern Art department at New Bond Street until 2005 when she moved to Browse & Darby on Cork Street. During her eight years there, she became an associate director and worked closely with the gallery’s roster of living artists, including Andy Pankhurst, Robert Dukes, Anthony Eyton and Thomas Lamb. The gallery’s long-standing identification with historical figures such as Sir William Nicholson, Euan Uglow, Sir Matthew Smith and Gwen John allowed Jessica to focus on the figurative heritage in twentieth century British art and she was instrumental in several solo exhibitions. She also assisted several private collectors in building and developing their collections, an element which is key to the success of J&J Rawlin.