Florence, Mary Sargent (1857-1954) by Scholes, Robert

Mary Sargent Florence (1857-1954) She was known for decorative murals and frescoes. She studied at the Slade in London and Colarossi’s in Paris. From the web pages of the Messums Gallery, about their studio in Marlow: The house was built at the turn of the century by Mary Sargent [sic] Florence, the English widow of an American music student, Henry Florence. After his death she looked around for a possible site for a home in the country for herself and her two children, Alix and Philip, and that was how she came to Marlow. The Studio was a vital adjunct to the house from its inception, and it was here that Mary Sargent Florence planned the frescoes she painted for Oakham and Bourneville Schools. In due course her daughter Alix, a friend now of Virginia and Leonard Woolf, married James Strachey, Lytton’s brother, and it was from this time that Lords Wood featured in Bloomsbury affairs. , Dora Carrington and of course Lytton were all to stay here, and eventually after his death Lytton’s library found its way to The Studio where it remained throughout Alix’s lifetime. Mark Gertler

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