Portraits of Women

Portraits of Women : Gwen John and Her Forgotten Contemporaries

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This is the first major group study of the lives and work of Edna Clarke Hall, Gwen John, Ida Nettleship and Gwen Smith whose work constitutes a previously neglected area of twentieth century British Art.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 152.7 x 229.1 x 21.3mm | 439.99g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0745618286
  • 9780745618289
  • 1,546,137

Review quote

"Portraits of Women is carefully researched and sympathetically written, and comes as a timely reminder of that talented group of half--forgotten women artists, led by Edna Clarke Hall, who were at the Slade School of Fine Art with Gwen and Augustus John. A hundred years after those student days, they still command our interest." Michael Holroyd "This is an informative book ... her bleak chronicle of the womena s attempts to keep working though babies, loss of love, loss of money and loss of confidence, is an eye--opening analysis of the social and psychological reasons why so many female artists do not fulfil their promise. The book provides a significant addition to the information we have about these artists and their artistic practice the material could be used in several ways by history students." The Art Book "The project offers the long--overdue prospect of tracing a network of shared professional interests and friendship throughout the four womena s careers ... Thomas draws on some fascinating source material; art, letters and writings which have not been accessible are now made available to a wider audience. Especially illuminating are descriptions of the quantity and variety of work produced by Gwen Smith and Edna Clarke Hall." Art History "A main attraction is the amount of quotation made from unpublished sources." The Oxford Art Journalshow more

About Alison Thomas

Alison Thomas is a Lecturer at the Cambridge Center for Sixth Form Studies.show more

Back cover copy

Gwen John has long been regarded as one of the foremost female painters of the twentieth century. She was just one of a group of outstandingly talented women at the Slade School of Art, a group which also included Edna Clarke Hall, Ida Nettleship and Gwen Smith. This biography tells the story of these four women's lives, from their shared student days at the Slade through the subsequent development of their careers. It has often been assumed that marriage and immersion in domestic responsibilities terminated the promising careers of these women. But Thomas shows that, despite these complications, they continued in serious artistic endeavor throughout their lives, producing work of a highly original and individual character. In striving to reconcile the demands of family and domestic ties with their desire to continue painting, the Slade women struggled with a dilemma which continues to face many women in the late twentieth century. Well illustrated and engagingly written, Portraits of Women reconstructs a neglected chapter in the development of twentieth-century art.show more

Table of contents

List of Illustrations. Introduction. 1. Students (1893-1898). 2. Broken Promises (1898-1905). 3. Duty and Devotion (1905-1914). 4. Whistling in the Dark (1914-1932). 5. Growing Old (1932-1979). Epilogue. Notes. Select Bibliography. Index.show more

Rating details

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