20th Century British Art
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Ethel Leontine Gabain (1883-1950)

Ethel Gabain was born in France but received her formal art education in London – at the Slade School of Fine Art (1902) and the Central School of Arts and Crafts (1904–06) – as well as Paris (1903–04). 

In 1908 she co-founded with John Copley (1875–1950) and A.S. Hartrick (1864–1950) the Senefelder Club, which sought to promote the art of lithography. The sale of her prints provided her with a working income. She married John Copley in 1913. In 1926, she provided illustrations for Anthony Trollope’s The Warden. 

She exhibited throughout her career, including at the RA, the NEAC, and the SWA, and her oil painting Flora Robson as Lady Audley was awarded the De Laszlo Silver Medal by the RBA in 1933. 

Gabain was employed by the WAAC during WWII to produce lithographs of Women’s Voluntary Services members. Despite deteriorating health, she travelled across Britain to record women’s invaluable contributions to traditionally masculine industries.

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