20th Century British Art
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Mary Potter (1900-1981)

Mary Potter (née Marian (Mary) Anderson Attenborough)

attended Beckenham School of Art (1916–18) and the Slade

School of Fine Art (1918–21), where she won first prize for

portrait painting. Briefly a member of the Seven and Five Society

she also exhibited with the NEAC and the LG.

In 1927, she married the writer and radio producer Stephen

Potter. They lived in Chiswick: many of her paintings from this

period evolve around views from her studio window. After moving

briefly to Manchester at the start of WWII, they rented Berwick

Hall, Essex, until peace returned.

In Essex and later in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, Potter focused more

on atmosphere and light, and her work became increasingly abstract.

She held numerous solo shows throughout her career,

including at the Bloomsbury Gallery (1932), the Redfern Gallery,

Arthur Tooth & Sons, Leicester Galleries, and – following a major

retrospective at Whitechapel Art Gallery (1964) – the New Art

Centre. Her final solo exhibition was at the Serpentine Gallery


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