Exhibitor in Truro Three Spires Festival, Inspire 2, in 1987. No further information currently.
Canadian-born artist (29 December 1859) who became a central figure in the art circles of West Cornwall, as well as being a nationally known and respected painter. Her early studies in art included periods at the Kensington Art School aged 14, while living by chance next door to D G Rossetti (but never meeting), and studying the work of the Pre-Raphaelites; then studying at the Art Students' League, New York (1878-81) with William Merritt Chase (1849-1916). Shorter visits, always accompanied by her mother, were made to Munich where she met Marianne Preindlsberger (later Marianne L M STOKES), and Pont Aven where she was tutored in etching.
In 1884 she joined up with the Art Students' League again to visit and work in Holland. In that same year her outstanding painting Zandvoort Fisher Girl was exhibited, a painting destined to become one of her hallmarks, not unlike School is Out. In the period 1883-89 she participated in the name of Elizabeth Armstrong (Specialty: Domestic) in more than sixty-three principal London exhibitions. Her outstanding early work in etching, fortunately collected by her mentor in the art, Mortimer MENPES, is catalogued, but did not develop later in her career.
Scott, in Painting at the Edge, notices a fleeting visit from Elizabeth Armstrong (and her mother) at Walberswick, Suffolk, from which two etchings were produced. After marriage to Stanhope FORBES, her work diminished in quantity though not in quality, and despite preferring the more cosmopolitan art crowd of St Ives, she was always most closely associated with the so-called 'Newlyn school' of artists.
She was a Medallist in the Paris Universal Exhibition 1889, a Gold Medallist in Oil painting in the Chicago Exposition 1893 and the winner of a Merit Award in the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists Exhibition 1910. Together with her husband, Stanhope FORBES, she developed and sustained the FORBES School of Painting from its institution in 1899 until her untimely death in 1912.
Her nickname 'Mibs' was a shortening of 'Forces Mibs', a backslang version of chatting between the friends at Myrtle Cottage (aka 'The Myrtage') where the JESSE cousins (Cicely JESSE and Wynifried Tennyson JESSE aka Fryn) and Dod SHAW (later PROCTER) lived whilst they attended the Forbes School. Both Elizabeth and Stanhope were deeply engaged with the development and life of the new Passmore Edwards Art Gallery at Newlyn (NAG), from its establishment in 1895, and continued to exhibit there throughout their creative lives.
Her watercolour paintings produced both for exhibition and as a book for their only child, Alec, King Arthur's Wood, was published in large (elephantine) format in 1904. Her model for the figure of King Arthur in this mammoth fairy tale was her colleague and friend Thomas Cooper GOTCH. In 1908-9 she initiated the publication of an arts periodical, The Paper Chase, edited by her close friend F Tennyson JESSE. It was discontinued after the first two issues owing to her terminal illness. Elizabeth died of cancer on 16 March 1912, aged 51, in Newlyn, after three years of treatments and recuperative rest-cures in London and France.
In her obituaries, she was described as the 'Queen of Newlyn'. In 2005, in the portraiture exhibition Faces of Cornwall at Penlee House, the following were displayed: Half-Holiday (Alec home from school c1909, Penlee Collection); Newlyn Maid (NAG Collection); Cicely Jesse (Penlee Collection); A Zandvoort Fishergirl (1884, NAG Collection) and her well-known masterpiece, School is Out (1899). Although the latter in the Penlee Collection is a Newlyn School painting, and the subject thought to be from that area, it was painted at the time she was working at Percy CRAFT's Studio in St Ives. Hence the subject may be based on a St Ives school room.
Maude Claydon Palmer was born in Canada and torn between a career in art or music. While staying in Jersey she decided to study art, and initially went to London. An uncle then sent her to study at the FORBES SCHOOL in 1901, and there she was to become an assistant, helper and friend to the whole Forbes family. She was also a talented musician, and took part in the many musical parties of the art colony. In in the 1909 Spring Exhibition at NAG she was reviewed as exhibiting miniatures on ivory.
In 1912 she sold three (untitled) pictures at NAG in the 45th Exhibition, and in 1913 a painting, Blackberrying. She became the second wife of Stanhope Forbes following the death of Elizabeth Armstrong FORBES in 1912, and assisted him in the running of the Forbes School as Secretary from 1915. She continued to display her own paintings over the years, primarily at the Newlyn Art Gallery. In 1933 she was elected an honorary member of STISA. In 1937 the painting exhibited by Maude Stanhope Forbes was An Old Venetian Gateway at NAG, and in 1938 she sent the painting, Statuette, to the RA.
Exhibiting with STISA at Swindon in 1949, she showed a portrait of Stanhope, who had died in 1947.
Born in Dublin (18 November 1857), the son of a railway manager and a French mother (Juliette Forbes, neé de Guise) who was a driving influence in his life, his interest in art began on family holiday in Ardennes as a child. His father was transferred to London, and Stanny was sent to Dulwich College.
He later studied at Lambeth School of Art and RA Schools, where he staged his first exhibition in 1878. He spent two years studying in Paris from 1880, with his friend (from Dulwich) Henry LA THANGUE, and also in Brittany. Moving to Newlyn in 1884, he painted his famous Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach (Plymouth City Collection) and exhibited it at the RA the following spring. Also that year he exhibited two paintings at Manchester’s Royal Institution (Second Autumn Exhibition, 1884), virtually putting a seal upon his future: At Newlyn, Cornwall and A Cornish Fisher Boy.
In 1886 he was one of the founding members of the NEAC, and in Cornwall had quietly but effectively assumed the mantle of lead promoter of a self-styled colony, league or ‘school’ of artists. His sale of The Health of the Bride to Henry Tate (Tate Gallery Collection) enabled his marriage to the artist Elizabeth Adela ARMSTRONG in 1889. The birth of their son Alexander (called Alec), and the commissioning of their impressive arts & craft-styled home at Higher Faughan, in addition to their busy and productive output of paintings, is best read in their biographies.
Portraits of Stanhope, as drawn and painted by Elizabeth, are several and listed in Cook et al. A long-term portraiture project being carried out by the National Portrait Gallery will include their recent acquisition of A Portrait of Stanhope (reading, c1889). Ten years later, with the establishment of the Passmore Edwards Art Gallery in Newlyn (NAG, 1895) in between and all the efforts this required, the couple opened their Newlyn School of Painting in 1899, combining a new economic force - art and related tourism - within an area of declining mining, fishing and farming fortunes.
In 1910, the year of his election to the RA, a photo-plate of Snared (b&w) was included in the Studio-Talk section of The Studio to honour the RA-Elect. In 1915, following the death of Elizabeth in 1912, he married Maudie PALMER, a former pupil of the school and close friend of the family. In August 1916, his son Alec died in the front line (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) in France.
Work was the cure, and though critics comment that his later paintings are rather unoriginal, it is equally true that different styles and movements were having their day and his world was gone. In 1924 he designed a poster for the LMS Railway ‘project’. The ‘Round the Studios’ reporter (The Artist, 1932) commented that Forbes was ‘still enthusiastic about out-of-doors painting, to which he had religiously adhered since 1882 when he joined his friends Henry LA THANGUE and Arthur HACKER in France and found that painting en plein air was the only way “to depict nature as she is”.'
Stanhope Forbes, the 'Father of the Newlyn School', died in Newlyn on 2 March 1947, age 89 (GRO).
In the year 2000 'history was made' when Stanhope's superb painting The Seine Boat (1904) was sold at Phillips Fine Art, New Bond Street for £1,211,5000, taking the Newlyn School 'into hitherto uncharted waters' and establishing a world record for the artist.
In 1899 Stanhope FORBES and his wife Elizabeth FORBES formally opened their School of Painting and Drawing at Newlyn. The advertisement for it was headed 'NEWLYN -- A CLASS for DRAWING AND PAINTING from the LIFE', and it included in the brief statement of its intent, the following: 'In addition, a Studio adapted for the especial study of figures in the open air, and of animals in their natural environment of landscape will shortly be opened.'
Primary source information has been gathered by Iris Green in her 2002 study of the students of the Newlyn School of Painting (the formal name of the organisation), resulting in the publication of her monograph, Posing the Model. The list of pupils that Green compiled is not exhaustive, and without detailed attendance records (that do not remain in the Forbes family papers at the Tate Archive or in the WCAA) can never be so. Nevertheless, it is a seminal study from primary sources, and has been gleaned from Stanhope Forbes’s letters and diary entries, dictionaries, magazine articles concurrent with the school’s operational years 1899-c1941, and family letters that describe the experience of ‘being a pupil’. Some names have been added by our research team to Green’s original list. These names together with lists of known pupils at other local artist-led schools, are available in the Dictionary described below.
In the 1904 Studio, the tuition offered at the Forbes' School was described thus: ‘Newlyn, A Class for Drawing and Painting from the Life’ and the prospective student was advised to write for Full Particulars, to Stanhope A Forbes ARA, Trewarveneth, Newlyn, Penzance. A detailed description of the school, and how it was managed, is included in Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall 1880-1940, A Dictionary and Sourcebook (Hardie 2009) as written by Gladys Beattie Crozier in 1904 for The Girls’ Realm (illustrated).
The Canadian-born (Brockville, Ontario1859) painter studied at St John's Wood School, the RA School, Paris and Italy.
She is known to have worked from both St Ives (1890) and Newlyn (1897), and in between from Tuscany (1892). She attended the initial meeting to establish the St Ives Arts Club. Her titles include Piping, exhibited at Dowdeswells in 1890. By 1902 she lived at Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire, where she died age 79 on 31 October, 1938 (GRO).