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Last Week I learned a little about Mary Anne Sloane

December 31, 2012

Mary Anne Sloane

Earlier this year while visiting the William Morris Museum, by the Thames at Hammersmith we came across a little community that warranted further visits at some time. This holiday at home seemed to be the ideal time.
Hammersmith, is near enough to London to retain its city feel but only 45 minutes drive away and free parking.  Thus making it a desirable ‘outing’ without the added costs and inconvenience of trains and limited and expensive parking costs.
Also, being beside the tidal Thames there is the nice feeling of sea air and a holiday feel of the walkers, bikers and runners along the ‘promenade’ or better known Thames Path.
The weather was not kind, so we walked only a little downstream beyond the Hammersmith Bridge and back to the Dove for a nice lunch.  With hindsight this was a good move as it is a very popular public house and was soon packed to the gunnels.  I have since learned that it is very popular viewpoint for the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. So after enjoying a very nice leisurely lunch out of the wind and rain,  we ventured back up river to the William Morris Museum. Where there was a little exhibition of the work of Mary Anne Sloane (d 1961) who was born in Leicester, a painter and printmaker trained in etching and engraving by Sir Hubert von Herkomer at the Art School of Bushey in Hertfordshire.  Mary moved from her home in Leicester to London where she became friends with Frank Short and Constance Mary Pott at the Royal College of Art.
Mary lived in Hammersmith Terrace and was a close friend of William Morris’s daughter May and was a regular visitor to their home. So with the support of William Morris and Phillip Webb and her exceptional education in the arts she laid the foundation for a ‘groundbreaking career in the creative world’ demonstrating how her work broke the gender roles undertaken by women at that time.
It was a very small exhibition at the William Morris Museum; but it does illustrate Mary Anne Sloane’s interest in the traditional craft of weaving practiced in her hometown of Enderby. I still know little of Mary but will look more closely at her collection in the VA later this year.

Meanwhile back on the path up stream we aimed for the Barnes Bridge; but sadly the rain and cold wind beat us.
We will return as it would seem that this little area on the Thames was the home of other artists, writers, binders, publishers and reformers,

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