Saturday, 3 July 2010

When women artists could not exhibit their work

Did you know, a mere 153 years ago, it was considered too shocking for a woman artist to display her work in London? When a few rebellious women formed their own society in 1857, there was no shortage of women artists, but some changed their name to protect their families.

The Society of Women Artists (SWA) is that same Society. Vibrant as ever, far from clinging to the modern world by their fintertips, they are proud of their history and bursting with talented artists vying to show their work at their 149th annual exhibition.

The show was opened by HRH Princess Michael of Kent, patron of the Society at the prestigious Mall Galleries in London on June 30th.

You can imagine how excited I was when on the evening before the show opened, I received a 'phone call saying my painting 'Harbour Market at Elmina II' had received an award for 'most original oil painting' and I was to be presented with the award by HRH Princess Michael of Kent.

My anxiety soon turned to concern when I realised I did not have the required 5 days I would need to groom myself and paint my toe nails. Would I need to learn how to curtsy and how would I address Her Royal Highness?

My anxiety soon turned to pride when I arrived at the gallery to find it heaving with people and a delighted Princess Michael soon put me at ease by wishing me well. She was very complimentary about the vibrancy of the painting.

So here I am in yet another proud moment of my painting career with HRH Princess Michael and Barbara Penketh Simpson, President of the Society.

I was both honoured and humbled. The talent in the room was overwhelming.

If you want to see the show (and it is worth seeing), it's on until 10th July.


  1. Wow Anne! Well done. You should show your paintings in more exhibitions, having seen some of them I have no doubt that they will do well. Congratulations, you deserve it.

  2. Thanks so much Ann that's really of you. I feel so inspired and am looking around for more exhibitions.