Industrious production and royal patronage

Mary was a prolific artist, regularly exhibiting at a number of prestigious venues. Her accounts refer to her work being shown at the Royal Academy, the Society of Women Artists (SWA), the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and numerous other galleries.

‘Aylestone Packhorse Bridge’. Etching, 1902. Private collection.

‘Aylestone Packhorse Bridge’. Etching, 1902. Private collection.

Mary became a member of the SWA and exhibited her first painting, the ‘Old Town Hall Leicester’in 1888.

In 1910 a painting of Mary’s entitled ‘Whitby’ was bought by Queen Mary at the SWA exhibition.  This was followed up some years later in 1923 by a Royal commission - to provide a pen and ink miniature of ‘Earl Shilton Mill, Leicester’, measuring just 5.9 x 4.5cm, for the library in Queen Mary’s Doll’s House.

Mary also received an honourable mention at the Paris Salon of 1903, for her etching ‘Aylestone Packhorse Bridge’.

In 1912 Mary’s superb etching skills were recognised when she became an Associate of the Royal Society of Painters, Etchers and Engravers, entitling her to add the initials ARE after her name; a significant achievement and milestone for women artists of the day.