1867 - 1932

Emma Thornhill was born at Lowestoft, Suffolk in 1867, daughter of Edmund Bensley Thornhill (4 January 1834-29 May 1895), a judge in the N.W.Provinces of India, and his wife Constance Wilson (3 November 1836-9 September 1911), youngest daughter of John Cracroft Wilson of the Bengal Civil Service, who married at Moradabad, Bengal on 8 July 1856. In 1871, Emma was a 3-year-old, living living at Geldeston Lodge, Norfolk, the home of her widowed 70-year-old grandmother Charlotte Thornhill, whilst her parents were in India, also living at Geldeston Lodge were her five siblings, Hilda 12, Alice 10, Bensley 8, Clement Bensley and Mark Bensley both 4. Ten years later, together with her parents, they were at the same address and by 1891 her father had retired, when 23-year-old Emma was still living at Geldeston with her parents and siblings. Her father died at Geldeston Lodge in 1895 about which time Emma studied at Dresden and then under Sir Hubert von Herkomer (1849-1914) at the Bushey School of Painting and whilst in London she lived at 19 Chenies Street Chambers, St Giles Bloomsbury. A member of the Ipswich Fine Art Club 1901-1903 and exhibited from 19 Chenies Street in 1901, two watercolours 'A Suffolk Town' and 'August Afternoon near Southwold', in 1903 'The Wicket Gate' and 'Barsham Church, Suffolk' and in 1905 'Magdalen Tower, Oxford' and 'The Founder's Tower, Oxford'. In 1914 she exhibited at Ipswich from 10 Barton Street, Westminster 'In the Forum, facing S. Francesco Romana' and 'In the Cloister of S. John Lateran', in 1927 from White Cottage, Geldeston, Beccles, two watercolours 'Grays Inn Square Holborn' and 'Water Gate, Lake Orta'. She was also a member and exhibitor at the Norfolk & Norwich Art Circle 1908-1913 from Geldeston, and exhibited the Royal Academy; the Dudley Gallery; Walker Art Gallery; the Society of Women Artists and Walker's Gallery, London 1901-1927. Emma Thornhill died at The White Cottage, Geldeston, Beccles on 27 March 1932, aged 64, she was unmarried. She signed her works 'E. Thornhill', printed letters. One of her oil paintings 'Donkeys and a Thistle' 25cm by 36cm was for sale at Whytes Irish Auctioneers in 2001.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from White Cottage, Geldeston, Beccles, Suffolk
1927 759 Behind the Choir, Chartes Cathedral

Works by This Artist