BROWNING, Amy Katherine

1881 - 1978

Amy Katherine Browning

Amy Katherine Browning was born at Great Bramingham Hall Farm, near Luton, Bedfordshire on 31 March 1881, second daughter of the eight children of James Day Browning (1857–1 February 1933), farm bailiff and later tenant farmer, and his wife, Katherine Lucy Saunderson (23 April 1857–17 August 1946), daughter of John Saunderson, who married at Keysoe, Bedfordshire on 22 October 1877. Amy was educated at a small private school in Luton and, because of her early aptitude for drawing, attended weekly drawing lessons but in 1897 the family moved to a remote farm several miles away. In September 1899, Amy, nicknamed Brownie by her contemporaries, entered the Royal College of Art and gained a diploma in the teaching of art. In 1901, Brownie had to leave college to run the household when her mother became pregnant and a year later, she applied to the London County Council and won two outside scholarships. On her return to the college, she met and became friends with Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960), later assisting her in the mounting of the Women's Exhibition of 1909 and, during the First World War, worked alongside Pankhurst to raise money and provide work for women in the East End of London. Leaving art college in 1906, in which year had her first picture accepted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, and apart from the First World War, continued to exhibit there annually until 1975. She always signed her paintings A. K. Browning, so the fact that she was female would remain unclear. She supported herself by teaching, but was a productive artist, painting large pictures more suitable for public galleries than domestic interiors, also painting family groups, portraits, as well as flower paintings, still life, and landscapes. When the Paris Salon resumed exhibiting after the First World War, she won the gold medal for 'Lime Tree Shade' (Ipswich Museum) in 1922 and continued to exhibit there through the 1920s and 1930s as well as at other major exhibitions all over the world. Amy exhibited with the Sole Bay Group of Southwold in the 1930s also showing widely in Britain including an extensive exhibition at her birth county at Wardown Museum, Luton in 1954. Elected a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters; the New English Art Club; the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, and the Society of Women Artists. Brownie's style was ‘British Impressionist’ with a wonderfully subtle feeling of light in all her work. Whilst at the Royal College, Brownie had met Thomas Cantrell Dugdale, and they married at St Mary Boltons, Kensington, London on 15 June 1916. In 1939, an artist, living with her husband at Poplar Farmhouse, High Street, Wickham Market, Suffolk, her husband spending most weekdays at their studio flat in London. In 1943, as Miss A. K. Browning, R.O.I., she exhibited at the Ipswich Art Club an oil, 'Adieu to Iken' and she later moved to Iken, near Snape, Suffolk where she painted and gardened. Tommy Dugdale died in 1952, when Amy gave up their house in Suffolk and spent the next twenty-three years in their rented Chelsea studio flat, but often returned on painting trips to Valley Farm, Walberswick, the then home of Michael Jeans (1922-2009), but thereafter painted family groups and portraits, including one of Lady Churchill. In 1975, after had a stroke, she went to live with her youngest sister at 11 Munts Meadow, Weston, Hertfordshire. Amy Katherine Dugdale died at St Catherine's Nursing Home, Letchworth on 27 January 1978, at the age of ninety-six. Examples of her work are held in Luton Museum and Art Gallery; Wolverhampton Museum and Art Gallery; Ipswich Museum and Art Gallery; Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow; and the Royal Academy collection, London. Her great-niece was Joanna Dunham who authored her biography 'Amy K Browning-An Impressionist in the Women's Movement' (1955).

Royal Academy Exhibits
from 5 Albert Studios, Albert Bridge Road, London NW
1906 420 Chyngton, Sussex
from 38 Park Mansions, Battersea Park
1909 432 The Chequered Shade
1910 426 Barbara
from Kitchen End, Ampthill, Bedfordshire
1911 4 Lamplight and Chintz
1912 42 The Red Shawl
         513 The Bath
1913 160 The Garden Seat
         549 Naomi
         893 March Flowers
1914 451 Bath-time
1915 492 The Hammock Swing
1916 170 The Lime-tree
         908 Growth
from 284 King's Road, Chelsea
1920 298 Renascence
from Kitchen End, Ampthill, Bedfordshire
1921 423 A Derbyshire Dale
from 9 Avenue Studios, Fulham Road, London
1922 59 An April Window
         261 The Yew Tree Swing
1923 127 Mrs Cecil Rowntree
1924 339 Love Me
         467 The End of the Fairy Tale
1925 320 Larbee
1926 302 The Studio Mirror
1927 180 The Grass Road
         634 Mother and Child
1929 104 The Clearing
         264 'Gardener's Garters'
1930 8 Studio Supper
         104 Fanny
         583 Summer Afternoon
1931 577 Flower-piece
1932 622 Life
         676 Annabel's Bath
1933 9 Petunias
         60 Anniversary
         623 Annabel's Lunch
from Glebe Place, Chelsea
1934 24 Morning Dew
         142 Now June
         411 Aldeburgh Fair
1935 112 Petit-point at Iken
         121 Midsummer
         169 Sun-bathers
1936 114 Careless Autumn
         320 Come May
         714 Quiet October
1937 221 Sun-worshippers
1938 577 The Artist's Mother
         642 Hoppers in Kent
1939 145 Country Pride
         309 East Anglia
         428 'Himself'
1941 226 On the Lawn
         454 T.C.D. at home
1942 362 Flower-piece
1943 196 Abundance
         322 Last Up
         380 The Channel
1944 232 'The Times' Newspaper
         236 The Adventures of Mr Stuffing Box
         268 Nostalgia
         400 Young Ruth
1945 172 Winter
         273 Generations
         335 Plough
         638 The Family
1946 232 Knitting
         267 Lunch
         461 Full Summer
1947 5 ?
         192 Petit Point
         347 Snowbound
1948 100 Benhall Green
         156 Red-head
         423 Drought
1949 240 Morning
         351 Mild Winter
         461 Kitchen Breakfast
1950 216 Interlude
         240 Wisdom
1951 239 April Patch
         242 Sunday Papers
         284 Sugar Beet Harvest
1952 88 Ancestral Roses
         134 Companions
         155 April Breakfast
1953 152 High Summer
         412 Bee Manager
         674 November Sea
1954 96 Hatters
         125 Gone Away
         251 Rhoda Birley
1955 349 Charleston Manor
1956 189 Nude
         290 Studio, St John's Wood
1958 351 Church Fete
         362 Ancestral Roses
         499 Studio Stairs
1959 70 Studio Mantlepiece
         367 Autumn Roses
         372 Routine
1960 264 A Memory
1961 9 The Hammock Swing
         551 Alone
         653 Autumn Hedgerow
1962 5 Shadowed Nude
1965 292 For Two
         805 Thunder Clouds
1966 776 Month of May
1967 931 Sun
         1233 April Morning
1968 376 Audience
         528 Sheep-shearing
1970 67 Wash Day
         267 Picnic: North Wales
1972 538 The Wash House
         544 The Green Valley
1974 13 Estuary, North Wales
         330 South Downs: October
1975 555 Petit-point

Works by This Artist