Born Emma Rose Mead, she was a painter in oil and watercolour of portraits and personalities in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, where she was born and lived. Mead attended Lincoln School of Art around 1888–92, gaining several awards; was briefly at Westminster School of Art, under Fred Brown; then, after nursing her father until he died, joined the studio of Auguste-Joseph Délécluse in Paris, 1895. Took a studio in London, then returned to Bury to nurse her mother. Began to show at Paris Salon and RA and in 1907 produced 12 watercolours commemorating the Bury Pageant, printed and sold as commemorative postcards. Mead was a fiery-tempered feminist who in the 1890s indignantly refused an offer of £500 (then a considerable sum) from a cooker manufacturer if she would add its name to a stove in one of her pictures.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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