Browning, Amy Katherine (Dugdale) (1882-1970) by Scholes, Robert

Browning, Amy Katherine (Dugdale) (1882 – 1970) She was born into a farming family at Little Bramingham near Luton in Bedfordshire and started to draw before she even went to school. her family recognized her talent and paid for special drawing lessons from Mrs. Carruthers. After school, she returned to the farm, where she felt a bit trapped, until she persuaded her parents to let her go to the Royal College of Art, which trained craftsmen and teachers of art in those days. She began her studies in 1899. In 1904 she met a new student at the school, Sylvia Pankhurst. Sylvia’s mother, Emmeline, was the leader of the movement for womens’ suffrage in England, and her sister Christabel, was her right hand. But Sylvia did a lot of work for the movment as well, drawing Amy Browning along with her, as the suffrage movement became increasingly militant. Amy continued to pain during this troubled time, and a painting of hers won the Silver Medal at the Paris Salon in 1913. She earned her living by teaching, and used her sisters for models. Lime Tree Shad (below) is a painting of her sister Barbara. In 1916 she married the painter Thomas Dugdale, whom she had known from art school days. In 1922 she won a Gold Medal at the Paris salon, which allowed her to enter her work freely thereafter, which she did until World War II intervened. She continued to paint until near the end of her long life. There is a very useful book about Browning and her work, with excellent ilustrations: Joanna Dunham’s Amy K. Browning: An Impressionist in the Women’s Movement.

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