MINNS, Fanny Mary

1847 - 1929

Fanny Mary Minns was born at Node Hill, Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight, Hampshire in 1847, sixth and youngest child of William Minns (1813-18 December 1866), a partner in the dry cleaning and dyeing business of Bright and Minns, and his wife Mary née Bright (1812-1899), who married at Niton, Hampshire on 28 March 1836. The dyer's business lasted for some 164 years and allowed Fanny the luxury of training as an artist. In 1851, Fanny was a 4-year-old, living at Node Hill, Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight with her parents, 37-year-old William of Southampton and 38-year-old Mary, and five siblings, Jane 13, William 12, Charles 10, Walter 8 and Kate 6, all born at Newport. It seems probable that Fanny received painting lessons from Ellen Cantelo (1825-1898) of Carisbrooke, who made her living as an artist. As the Royal Academy in London was closed to women until 1862, Fanny proceeded to Dresden Art Academy, and she established herself as a teacher of painting. Her father died in 1866, aged 53 and Fanny continued to reside with her widowed mother on the Isle of Wight. Working in watercolour she produced a substantial number of local landscapes, working 'al fresco' to capture the immediacy of light and colour. She also did hasty sketches for further work in her studio and her continental travels certainly took her to Switzerland where Alpine scenes, including the Matterhorn are among her works. A member of the Ipswich Art Club 1889-1890 and exhibited from Glen Cottage, Isle of Wight in 1889, three pictures, 'Roses', 'In the New Forest, Sunset' and 'Alpine Anemones' she also exhibited two items of earthenware, but she exhibited widely, including the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, the Royal Society of British Artists, and the Society of Women Artists. As well as teaching painting, Fanny received commissions to illustrate books from several publishers, including for 'The Silence of Dean Maitland', by local author Maxwell Gray (Mary Gleed Tuttiett), and illustrated 'Romance of the Hill Station and Other Stories' by Mrs H S Lerverton and Fanny's landscapes caught the attention of Ruddock and Co, providing views of the Island and Dorset in the 'Artist' series of postcards. In 1911, she held an exhibition of her work at the Unity Hall in Newport where she displayed 110 paintings. Fanny travelled in search of new subjects until the end of her life. Fanny Mary Minns was of Langsnek, Medina Avenue, Newport Ryde, Isle of Wight when she died on 11 May 1929, aged 82, and was buried beside her mother at Mountjoy Cemetery in Carisbrooke, she was unmarried. She is sometimes recorded as Frances but her birth and death records are Fanny.

Works by This Artist