Dunbar, Evelyn

(1906 – 1960)

Sketches and designs for an unrealised painting entitled Evening in the Country

Inscribed with title and various notes

Pen and ink
9¼ x 7 in. (23.5 x 17.9 cm)


Roger Folley; Alasdair Dunbar; Hammer Mill Oast Collection

Sketches, notes and designs for an unrealised painting; variously entitled Evening in the Country, etc. There are some parallels with Dunbar’s Flying Applepickers of 1946. In this context it can possibly be dated to 1945/6, if only for the reason that in 1945 Dunbar abandoned the urban life of Rochester and with her husband Roger Folley set up their first married home in the quiet village of Long Compton, Warwickshire. From then on she lived continuously in the country, moving to Oxfordshire in 1947, and thence to Kent in 1950, where she stayed until her death 10 years later.

We are grateful to Christopher Campbell-Howes for assistance.

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Dunbar, Evelyn

1906 – 1960

Evelyn Dunbar studied at Rochester School of Art, Chelsea School
of Art (1927) and the Royal College of Art (1929’33). She painted
murals from 1933 -36 at Brockley School, a collaboration with her
RCA tutor (and lover) Cyril Mahoney (1903’1968) and in 1937
they wrote and illustrated together Gardeners’ Choice. 

In 1938 she set up the Blue Gallery in Rochester, exhibiting her
own work alongside that of Edward Bawden (1903’1989) and
Barnett Freedman (1901’1958) and others. In 1940 she was
appointed an official war artist, becoming the only woman (amongst
36 men) to be given a full time salaried position by the WAAC. 

She held her only solo exhibition at Withersdane, Wye, Kent
in 1953, although the WAAC included numerous pieces in touring
exhibitions ranging from Aberdeen Art Gallery to MOMA, New York. 

A posthumous exhibition was held in 2006 at St Barbe
Museum and Art Gallery, and in 2015 Liss Llewellyn mounted a
major retrospective of her recently rediscovered studio at Pallant
House Gallery. 


Study for July, Gardeners Diary 1938, 1937
Studies for Mercatora, an allegorical painting (whereabouts unknown) [HMO 173]
Colour study for sub-gallery spandrels at Brockley County School for Boys [HMO 551]