(b Long Eaton, Derbyshire, 4 Aug. 1877; d London, 7 July 1970). British painter. In the first half of the century she was one of the most highly regarded of British artists and in 1936 she became the first woman to be created a Royal Academician since the original women members Angelica Kauffmann and Mary Moser. At the height of her considerable fame (she was regarded as a ‘character’—the nearest equivalent to a female Augustus John) she won great popularity for her colourful scenes of circus life and the ballet, but these now often seem rather corny. On the other hand, her early Newlyn School landscapes, which at their best have a sparkling sense of joie de vivre, have recently come back into favour. Some of the work she did as an Official War Artist during the Second World War is also now highly regarded.
Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)