COTTAM, Alice May

1899 - 1995

Alice May Cottam was born at The Cottage, 63 Gillingham Road, Gillingham, Kent on 31 May 1899, only daughter of Frederick Matthew Cottam (24 October 1860-22 July 1934), an engineer commander in the Royal Navy, and his wife Sarah Jane née Hayward (1858-1912), who married at Portsea Island, Hampshire in 1894. In 1911, Alice was an 11-year-old, living at 251 Maidstone Road, Rochester, Kent with her 54-year-old mother Alice, her father was visiting his brother John Joseph Cottam at Portsmouth. Alice was educated at Girls' Grammar School, Rochester and studied at Rochester School of Art where she became an assistant teacher. A painter in oil and watercolour and later a teacher at Ipswich School of Art. An Associate of the Royal College of Art from 1923 and a member of the Ipswich Art Club 1928-1963, exhibiting from 87 Anglesea Road, Ipswich in 1932, water colours 'Evening', 'Dorset Coast', 'High Tide in the Cove' and 'Lulworth, Dorset'. She married at St Matthew's Church, Ipswich on 12 September 1932, John Lewis Palmer and she painted under the names of A. M. Cottam, Alice May Palmer or Mrs J Lewis Palmer, but exhibiting at Ipswich Art Club in 1933, still under the name of Cottam, from Vine Cottage, Crabbe Street, Ipswich, an oil 'The Kimono' and watercolours 'The Butter Market, Ipswich', 'Old Town Hastings', 'The Yellow Kitchen' and an aquatint 'The Gossips'. In 1935 she exhibited as Miss A. M. Cottam (Mrs Palmer), three works an oil 'Primroses' and watercolours 'Norah' and 'The Market Place, Siena' and in 1937, she was exhibiting from 6 Middlefields, Colchester Road, Halstead, Essex, two works both 'Portrait'. In 1939, she was still living at Halstead and exhibited in 1941 one picture 'Barbara' and in 1943 as Mrs A. M. Palmer two works, 'Jane' and 'Polly'. In 1950, she exhibited from 3 Hubert Road, Colchester, Essex an oil 'Spring Landscape, Colne Engaine, Essex' and in 1951 a watercolour 'The Old Church, Birch, near Colchester'. As Alice M. Palmer she exhibited at the Royal Academy also showing at Rochester and West Kent Art Society. Alice May Palmer later moved to 8 Rhodesia Drive, Stafford Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire where she died on 19 August 1995.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from Westminster Bank House, Haverhill, Suffolk
1963 814 Convolvulus - watercolour