Hilda Fearon was born in Banstead, Surrey, and was the younger sister of Lionel Lea Townley BIRCH, also an artist, and the middle child in a family of four daughters and one son. Some early information about the Fearon family is available in CAI files, as donated by researcher and writer Christopher Garrett.
Hilda began drawing and modelling whilst still at school, and drew Greek sculpture at the British Museum. She studied at the Slade School of Art in London, in Dresden under Robert Sterl (1897-99), and from 1900 under Algernon Mayow TALMAGE at St Ives. In her portrait of Talmage she shows him smoking and reading, Her portrait of Alice was the property of fellow artist Will ASHTON when Charles MARRIOTT wrote an article about her paintings and her early maturity as a painter for the Studio magazine.
Fearon made the representation of women in various pursuits domestically (tea parties, dancing, etc.) both indoors and out of doors her main choice of subject in her paintings. Placing figures - primarily women and children in both interiors and landscapes combined all of her 'cool' craftmanship (Marriott saw almost a frostiness, certainly a kind of emotional detachment in her representations/images.)
She and Talmage moved to London (1908), where she exhibited at least 18 paintings at the RA, before her early death at the young age of thirty-nine. Talmage presented her painting, The Tea Party (1916) to the Tate Gallery in 1936.
Painter of landscape, still lifes and figure subjects
works and access
Works include: The Homecoming; The Tea Party (1916) at Tate Gallery/Collection Online
A Moonlit Harbour (St Ives) Studio Vol 47 1909, p 118;
Studio, Vol 63, p 27: Green and Silver (depicting children at tea table); Alice (a portrait); The Ballet Master; Vivien; Portrait of Algernon Talmage; Afternoon in the Garden; Under the Cliffs (later at Christie's titled The Bathers)
RA 1908-17 (18)
L, Walker Art Gallery
RI (membership 1910)
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh 1914
Royal Institute of Oil Painters, 1910
misc further info
Grateful acknowledgement: File notes and research file contributed by Pamela Gerrish Nunn (2006). Further family information added by Christopher Garrett (2011).
Art Cyclopedia (Internet guide): Early mid-20th Century Women Artists
Graves, RA Exhibitors
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p325)
Hoyle, H (Feb 2011 Women Artists in Cornwall http://cornishmuse.blogspot.com) 'Emily Carr, Talmage and Tregenna'
Johnson & Greutzner (1975) Dictionary of British Artists
C Marriott (1914) 'Paintings of Miss Hilda Fearon' The Studio Vol 63 (incl 7 images of her paintings)
RA Pictures 1910-1912
Tovey (2003) Creating a Splash
Tovey (2009) St Ives: Social History
Whybrow (1994) St Ives (1883-1900 list)