Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)

Finnial decorations


SKU: 8348
Pencil, pen and ink, colored pencil, collage
7 1/4 x 7 in. (18.5 x 17.8 cm)

Height – 18.5cm x Width – 17.8cm

1 in stock


James Bone

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Mary Adshead
1904 - 1995

Mary Adshead studied at the Slade School of Fine Art (1920’24)
under Henry Tonks (1862’1937), who in 1924 selected her for a
mural commission at Highways boys’ club in Shadwell, working
with Rex Whistler (1905’1944). 

She became a prominent muralist, creating decorations for
both public and private spaces, including the British Pavilion at
the 1937 Paris International Exhibition. She also illustrated several
books, such as The Little Boy and His House by Stephen Bone
(1904’1958) (whom she married in 1929), and made designs for
London Transport and the Post Office. 

As a noteworthy female artist, Adshead exhibited frequently
at the WIAC from the mid ‘1930s, before serving on their
committee in 1951. Working at a time when expectations of
women were still largely confined to issues of domesticity, her
prodigious professional output was noteworthy. Her approach to
mural painting ‘ especially in her choice of subjects and her colourful
palette ‘ challenged the perceived divisions which determined that
public and private spaces should necessarily be treated differently. She
was the subject of a retrospective at Liverpool Art Gallery in 2005.


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
A Good Answer


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
An Unpleasant Surprise


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
John’s House


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
Lucky Day


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
Evening Primroses in a London Garden


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
The Little Boy and His House, 1936


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
Finnial decorations


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
Gladstone & Venus, 1931


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
St Tropez, c. 1931


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
Fete champetre


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
Have a Happy Christmas 1983


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
Lunette design for a school mural, 1930’s


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
Garison Lane Nursery Training School, circa 1930


Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)
Farmers ploughing, Study for The World’s Food mural, c. 1942