Mary Fedden's (1915-2012) work is very popular and instantly recognisable, mostly consisting of still lifes.

Mary was born in Bristol and wanted to be a painter even as a child. Leaving Badminton School at sixteen, she studied at the Slade School of Art in London from 1932 to 1936. She painted sets for professional performances at Sadlers Wells, but decided against stage design as a career. 

Mary Fedden OBE RA, Picnic with Figs, 1999. Part of the Paintings in Hospitals collection.

Mary then returned to Bristol where she taught art and made a living by painting portraits until World War II began. During the war she served in the Land Army and the Woman's Voluntary Service.

After the war, Mary went on to become the first woman to teach painting at the Royal College of Art. Her pupils included David Hockney and Allen Jones.

In 1951 she was commissioned to paint a mural for the the Festival of Britain. She also painted a mural for the cafeteria at Charing Cross Hospital, with her husband Julian Trevelyan, in 1980.

Key facts: We have 14 works by Mary in our collection. One of the works was a very early work in the collection: it was accessioned in 1960!

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