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Mary Fedden (1915–2012)

Mary Fedden (1915–2012) was born in Bristol where she attended the city’s Badminton School. At the age of 16, she studied at the Slade School of Fine Arts, London from 1932 to 1936. Of her time at the Slade, she recalled, ‘after Badminton, the Slade was like stepping from hell into heaven.’ At the Slade, Fedden was a pupil of the theatre designer, Vladimir Polunin. When she finished her studies, she taught, painted portraits and created stage designs for Sadler’s Wells Theatre. She then returned to Bristol where she painted and taught until World War II broke out. During the Second World War, Fedden served in the Women’s Land Army and the Woman’s Voluntary Service and as a driver for the NAAFI in Europe. She was also commissioned to create murals for the war effort.

Fedden exhibited in one-person shows throughout the UK every year from 1947 until her death in 2012. These included the Mansard Gallery in Heal’s Department Store in 1947, Redfern Gallery, London from 1953, the New Grafton Gallery, London from the 1960s, the Hamet Gallery from 1970, the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, Bohun Gallery, Henley on Thames from 1984 and at the Beaux Arts Gallery, London in the 1990s. A major exhibition of her work was held at the Royal West of England Academy in 1996.

From 1984, Fedden held the post of President of the RWA, up until 1988,[2] the same year her husband Julian Trevelyan died. She was an academician of the Royal Academy and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bath. She also received an OBEand an honorary degree from the University of Durham (2009) for her work.

Fedden remained a prolific and popular painter until her death in 2012. She continued to live and work in the studio she shared with her husband (Julian Trevelyan) from the 1940s on the River Thames, London. She died, aged 96, in London.

(Text from Wikipedia)