KNIGHT, Dame Laura

1877 - 1970

Dame Laura Knight

As Laura Johnson, she was born at Long Eaton, Derbyshire on 4 August 1877, the youngest of the three daughters of Charles William Johnson and his wife Charlotte née Bates (1853-1893), who married at Nottingham in 1872. In 1881, 3 year old Laura was living at 9 Noel Street, Radford, Nottingham, with her 28 year old mother Charlotte, an art teacher, and siblings Elizabeth E. 7, born Nottingham and Evangeline Agnes 5, born Greasley, Nottinghamshire; 9 Noel Street was the home of 67 year old widow Charlotte Bates, the mother of Charlotte Johnson, who was a lace maker, employing 22 people. Charlotte Johnson taught part-time at the Nottingham School of Art, and managed to have 13 year old Laura enrolled as a non-fee paying 'artisan student'. In 1891, Charlotte was a 38 year old widowed art teacher, living at Birkin Avenue, Radford, Nottingham with her 15 year old daughter Evangeline Agnes, a pupil teacher at a Board School. At the age of fifteen, and still a student, Laura Johnson took over her mother's teaching duties when Charlotte became seriously ill. At the School of Art, Laura met another promising students, 17 year old Harold Knight and they married in 1903 and they joined an artists' colony at Staithes, Yorkshire, before moving to Newlyn, Cornwall in 1908. In 1919, Laura and Harold Knight moved to London, where Laura watched the Ballets Russes during their London seasons at the Alhambra or Coliseum theatres. In 1929, Laura was created a Dame, and in 1936 elected to the Royal Academy, only the third woman member since its foundation in 1768 and her large retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1965 was another first for a woman. During the Second World War, her popularity and distinguished career made her an obvious choice for the War Artists Advisory Committee, who tasked British artists with recording the war. During her long career Knight was among the most successful and popular painters in Britain. Laura exhibited from 16 Langford Place, St John's Wood, London at the Ipswich Art Club in 1932, two watercolours 'On the Rope Ladder' and 'The Looking Glass'. Harold Knight was of 16 Langford Place when he died at the Park Hotel, Colwall, Herefordshire on 3 October 1961 and Laura was still of 16 Langford Place, when she died on 7 July 1970.




Works by This Artist