|London Bridge with Tugs|
|Artist: Dora Meeson|
Watercolour Framed Signed lower left Size: 35 x 25cm (with frame 57 x 46cm)
About the artist:
Dora Meeson (1869-1955) was a painter, cartoonist, illustrator and craftworker and married to fellow painter George Coates. Dora was born in Melbourne although her family was constantly on the move between 1876 and 1896 living in London, New Zealand and Melbourne. In 1900 the Meeson family returned to London. Dora married George there three years later. In their early struggling London years, Meeson and Coates did numerous illustrations for the Encyclopaedia Britannica and for Dr Henry Smith’s Historian’s History of the World . A move to Chelsea in 1906 led to Meeson adopting the Suffrage cause. She became a founding member of the Women’s Freedom League (Kensington Branch), a member of the Women’s Council of the Conservative and Unionist Women’s Franchise Association, and a member of the Artists’ Suffrage League. While George served in the Royal Army Medical Corps at Wandsworth Hospital, Dora helped found the Women’s Police Service. She exhibited her paintings in Australia in 1913 and 1928 and had a major touring exhibition with her husband in 1921. Meeson was awarded a Honourable Mention at the 1923 Paris Salon. An ardent feminist who sought financial independence, Meeson became the principal breadwinner by painting a broad range of popular subjects for the market, including sentimental topics, studies of children, tourist souvenirs and rural scenes. In her Thames River paintings, e.g. The Thames at Chelsea (1916), she attempted to break down the social barriers that limited women artists to domestic subjects by appropriating subject matter usually the preserve of male artists – marine painting – and her pictures show scenes of the smog-laden industrial waterfront where women’s presence was normally considered unacceptable. Mindful of East End poverty, she also recorded the vulnerability of working men to storms and accident. A group of 'social conscience’ paintings aimed to draw attention to official discrimination against underprivileged women, women war-workers and women artists.
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