A picture of the little figure (above) that I described in an earlier post is going to illustrate my forthcoming article on the figurative pottery of the 1920s and 1930s in West 86th. Since writing it, I’ve found out more about the elusive artist who signed it JMW. The subject matter led me to think she was a woman. A picture of a similar piece by “J. West” in the Camberwell Art School’s archive (below) made me think he might be a man. In fact she was Joan Mary West (1883-1974), an artist with a varied practice, who came to ceramics comparatively late in life.

There’s a solitary painting by her in Manchester City Art Gallery, Ennui (below), undated, but judging from its style, painted at roughly the same time as her little figures, though it’s free of their sentimentality.

I’d assumed she was a young student at Camberwell, but she was in her forties when she studied there. On I even found a picture of her, no doubt taken at about that time, and showing her interest in pottery.

One thought on “SCHOOL OF CHARLES VYSE (3)

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