Clare Winsten (1894 - 1989)
Clare Winsten (née Clara Birnberg) emigrated from Romania to
England in 1902, where she trained at The Slade School of Fine
Art (1910–12). Gaining recognition within the circle of Jewish
painters emerging at the time, she was the only female member
of the so-called Whitechapel Boys. As a portraitist, she made
drawings of numerous eminent figures, including George Bernard
Shaw, Benjamin Britten and Mahatma Gandhi. She also illustrated
several books, such as Shaw’s Buoyant Billions: A Comedy of No
Manners in Prose, published in 1949.
Winsten joined the Women’s Freedom League and became
active in women’s suffrage soon after leaving the Slade. A female
artist and pacifist working during a particularly turbulent time
in English history, her work came to reflect the notional gulf
between the forward movement of emerging modernist art and the
traditionalism at the heart of the war effort and society at the time.