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Walker, Ethel (1861-1951)
by Scholes, Robert


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Ethel Walker (1861 - 1951)

Born in Edinburgh, Walker studied in London at the Putney Art School for two years (c. 1883) and at the Westminster School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art (1892–4) under Frederick Brown and James Whistler. She exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1898, where she was a regular exhibitor of portraits into the 1920s and 30s, and joined the New English Art Club as the first woman member in 1900.

From the GLBTQ encyclopedia website:

Dame Ethel Walker produced her major works late in her life: from the time she was in her fifties until her death at the age of ninety. She did not demonstrate any special interest in art until she formed a close friendship with Clara Christian in the 1880s; thereafter, the two women lived, studied, and worked together as fellow artists.

Walker is perhaps best known for her portraits of women. She captures her sitters' individual temperaments and expressions. Her obvious, tactile brushstrokes obscure unnecessary detail, thereby allowing the artist to emphasize the compositional aspects that capture the mood of her sitter.

A painting of hers called Seagulls was praised in The New Age for June 9, 1910 (NA ).

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