Forthcoming

Mary Adshead (1904 - 1995)

Still-life of Red Lily with Leopard Skin

SKU: 8489
Signed
Oil on canvas
34 1/2 x 28 3/4 in. (88 x 73 cm)

Size:
Height – 88cm
Width – 73cm

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
The Artists Family
Presentation:
framed

Exhibited: ‘For Real: British Realists from the 20s and 30s’, Museum MORE, Gorssel (September 15th, 2019 ‚Äì January 5th, 2020). 

As a noteworthy female artist, Adshead exhibited frequently at the Women’s International Art Club from the mid ‚Äì1930s, 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.

Adshead seems to have gone through a major stylistic shift at around the time this still-life was painted, in response to a growing awareness of Modernism in Europe. The fact that her flat in Hyde Park Gate was lent to Raoul Dufy when he visited one summer is an indication of wider sympathies that, while scarcely revolutionary, were not in accordance with her conservative art training under Henry Tonks at the Slade School of Fine Art. 

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THE ARTIST

Mary Adshead
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.

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Honey Bears
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Finnial decorations
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Gladstone & Venus, 1931
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Looking Down The Road
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The Great Wall of China, c. 1928, illustration for The House of History
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Garison Lane Nursery Training School, circa 1930
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Still life with stripey table cloth, circa 1960
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Clown training a circus monkey and two horses, c. 1940
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Study for mural for tea room, Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire, c.1949
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Farmers ploughing, Study for The World’s Food mural, c. 1942
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Portrait fragment – woman with hair dessed with olive leaves, circa 1930