Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995)

Study for The Twins, 1955


SKU: 10259
Pencil across two sheets of paper

Height – 38cm x Width – 41cm

1 in stock


The Artist’s Estate
Llewellyn, Sacha, et al. Women Only Works on Paper. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p. 76.

From her earliest work, Adnams played with discrepancies of scale and the creation of unlikely narratives
in a surrealist way. She recorded that When I first went to see René Magritte at the Tate I saw him for
the first time and I nearly passed out. So often the same thought had been with me”.

In 1930, Adnams started attending life classes at Derby School of Art. She was gratified to find her natural
ability to draw recognised, though perhaps less so in the terms her talent was acknowledged, with one
teacher remarking, she drew like a man, direct, with no rubbing out’. The ornamental dogs featured in the
pencil drawing Study of two Staffordshire Dogs were from Adnams’ own collection of Staffordshire pottery.
The addition of a piece of paper to the left-hand side, suggests that having at first intended to draw only
one of the pair, Adnams felt a compulsion to unite it with its companion.

The Staffordshire Dogs featured in this pencil drawing were from Adnams own collection.


Lewis Carroll’s Hunting of the Snark inscribed on the reverse:

‘In winter or summer, ’twas always the same‚Äî. You could never meet either alone’.


Modern British Art Gallery are continually seeking to improve the quality of the information on their website. We actively undertake to post new and more accurate information on our stable of artists.

We openly acknowledge the use of information from other sites including Wikipedia, and and other public domains. We are grateful for the use of this information and we openly invite any comments on how to improve the accuracy of what we have posted.


Marion Adnams
1898 - 1995

Marion Adnams initially trained as a modern languages teacher; however, woodcuts she made while travelling in Europe during the 1920s received significant praise when she exhibited them at Derby Art Gallery, prompting her to re-train at Derby School of Art during the 1930s. She qualified as an art teacher in 1938 and in 1946 she became Head of Art at Derby Diocesan Training College.

From the late 1930s onwards, Adnams became known for her distinctive Surrealist paintings, and exhibited in local galleries and in London, including at the British Art Centre and the Modern Art Gallery Although she never formally joined any Surrealist societies, she made a significant contribution to the movement, particularly regarding female/male dichotomies within the group, which she explored extensively in her work. In 2017 she was the subject of a retrospective at Derby Art Gallery.

She wrote extensively, including an unpublished Autobiography.


Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995)
The Twins
Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995)
A Candle of Understanding in Thine Heart, 1964
Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995)
Witch and Bagpiper
Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995)
A two part design for a Nautical Mural, 1930’s
Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995)
Portrait of a girl seated three front quarter view, 1943


Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995)
Full length standing nude rear view


Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995)
Seated nude, profile view, circa 1930


Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995)
Study of a Variegated Thistle Leaf (Silybum marianum), 1930’s
Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995)
Seated nude, three quarter rear view, circa 1930


Marion Adnams (1898 - 1995)
Studies of paper scrolls and wild flowers