Emily Coghill was born in the Cape colony and spent her early years in South Africa, the daughter of William Henry Cogill (Coghill), a merchant and hotel owner, and his wife Annette Gillman. According to a current correspondent (descendant) her family did have ties with Cornwall, but when they returned to the UK, they settled in the southeast, living first in Fulham, London (1891) and by 1901 in Surbiton, Surrey [Crossways, Crane's Park]. It is not known as yet if and where she may have studied art before moving to Cornwall, nor in what styles or medium she employed.
In between those dates she spent some years in Cornwall, where her exhibition dates begin from 1894. Her sending-in addresses range from St Ives (1894-7), returning to Surbiton, Surrey from 1897 and then from Seaton, Devon in 1925.
David Tovey, in 'St Ives - The Artists and the Community - A Social History' has suggested that this little-known artist may have been an early student of Julius OLSSON.
Her parents seem to have visited St Ives from 1891. She gives St Ives as her exhibiting address in 1894, the first year that she started to show her work, and she is recorded on the Visitors’ List between August and October that year, being signed in to the Arts Club by Olsson in October. In 1895, she continued to use St Ives as her exhibiting address when she showed 'A Grey Day' at SWA, and she took part in the performance of Our Boys in Olsson’s new Porthmeor Studio in December 1895. She also donated work to St John’s Organ Fund in 1896. In 1898, she uses a Surbiton address, but appears to have returned to the colony from time to time, as she was a guest of Gertrude Rosenberg at the Arts Club in January 1906 and of the Douglases in February 1908. She stopped exhibiting regularly at the SWA in 1912 and by the time of her final exhibit in 1925 was living at Seaton, Devon.
Emily Cogill died in Bridport, Dorset, age 89 in 1954.
works and access
A Grey Day
RA (2), RBA (1), and SWA (14).
1896: Charity Exhibition for Organ Appeal, St Johns in the Fields, Halsetown: The Foresand - Night
St Ives Arts Club; Society of Women Artists (SWA)
misc further info
Family correspondent (2011)
Graves (1905) Royal Academy Exhibitors to 1904
Johnson & Greutzner, Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940
Tovey (2009) St Ives (1860-1930) The Artists and the Community, A Social History
Whybrow (1994) St Ives
C Wood (2008) Victorian Painters