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Howard, Margaret Maitland

(1898 – 1983)

Seated Nude with Red Hair

Oil on canvas, 20 x 30 in. (51 x 76 cm.) 

DESCRIPTION

Margaret Maitland Howard was a painter and draughtsman, notably in
black-and-white, born in London.
She studied at the Byam Shaw and Vicat Cole School of Art and Royal
Academy Schools, where she was a multiple silver medal-winner plus
other awards. She exhibited RA, NEAC, SWA, RP and ROI. Just after World
War
II she was appointed draughtsman to the Institute of Archaeology at
London University. She was Ridley Art Club member and the  daughter of
the artist Henry James Howard. She lived in Sutton, Surrey.

Women had historically been discouraged from the nude as a genre, and
even after it became acceptable for women to attend Art School drawing
from a live model, rather than plastercasts, was considered
inappropriate. A measure of the degree to which men felt threatened by
the idea of women painting a nude is demonstrated by the hostile
reaction provoked by Laura Knights iconic Self Portrait (1913), now in
the collection of The National Portrait Gallery, which the Times critic
of the day summed up as ‘something dangerously near to vulgarity’:

Somehow, women painting women hardly ever infuses into her work the
higher charm of the eternal feminine’. This painting is obviously but
an exercise, and as such it might quite appropriately have stayed in
the artist’s studio. It repels, not by any special inconvenance ‚Äì for
it is harmless enough with an element of sensuous attraction – but by
dullness and something dangerously near to vulgarity.
Claude Phillips, The Daily Telegraph, 17 April 1914

Even favourable press reviews of the time used very condescending
language: Mrs Knights has …proved that she has masculine genius and
feminine courage.
Herbert Thomas, Mrs Knights Triumph, The Cornish Telegraph, 26 March 1914, p3.

In Margaret Maitland Howard’s study there is an honesty of purpose that
might typically be absent from a nude painted by a man. As Alfred Lys
Baldry observed in Contemporary Figures Painters, The Studio 1925, this
plain matter of fact’ approach to the nudes‚Äì the frank fidelity of
the woman artist’ – , shared none of the characteristics of the
idealized rendering of the female nude as seen by a male painter

The source of the above quotes is an article by Pamela Gerrish Nunn,
Self Portrait by Laura Knight, The British Art Journal, volume VIII No. 2
p 53

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THE ARTIST

Howard, Margaret Maitland

1898 – 1983

Margaret Maitland Howard was a painter and draughtsman, notably in black-and-white, born in London. She studied at the Byam Shaw and Vicat Cole School of Art and Royal Academy Schools, where she was a multiple silver medal-winner plus other awards. Exhibited RA, NEAC, SWA, RP and ROI. 

Just after World War II Margaret Maitland Howard was appointed draughtsman to the Institute of Archaeology at London University. Ridley Art Club member, daughter of the artist Henry James Howard. She lived in Sutton, Surrey and died in 1983.

MORE PICTURES BY ARTIST

Margaret Maitland Howard
Female Nude, Seated, Three-Quarter Rear View, c.1920
£6,800.00