Constance Mary BIRCH

1865—1926

Born in Genoa, Italy, the artist was the only child of Surgeon-General Sir John Harry Ker Innes KCB who was appointed an honorary surgeon to Queen Victoria.   She married the artist Lionel Lea Townley BIRCH in 1893 in London (GRO). At the Opening Exhibition of NAG in 1895 Mrs Birch exhibited Chrysanthemums, which was sold.  She did not exhibit often and the whereabouts of her work is currently not known.

In 1902 she loaned a portrait of Alexandra Forbes Forbes to the Spring Exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, together with most of the West Cornwall artists from Newlyn and St Ives. In 1909 she exhibited Echoes from Olden Time, also at NAG. She was the author of Stanhope A FORBES, ARA, and Elizabeth Stanhope FORBES, ARWS (1906), which was reprinted for the first time in 2005 (Cornish Classics). This book, partly authored by Elizabeth FORBES (chapters within the book in her own words) is one of a scarce number of contemporaneous accounts of the artistic life of the area. Constance Birch died in Ottery St Mary, Devon on April 13 1926, aged 61 (GRO).