SPANTON, Helen Margaret

1877 - 1934

Helen Margaret Spanton

Helen Margaret Spanton was born at 16 Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmund's, Suffolk on 15 September 1877, known as Madge, she was the eldest child of artist & photographer William Silas Spanton and his wife Sarah Pechey (1847-16 January 1917), daughter of Bury St Edmund's machinist Elisha Pechey (1805-1869), William and Mary had married at St James's Church, Bury St Edmund's on 8 June 1876. Helen was educated at Bury St Edmund's Girls' High School and her family had many artist friends who encouraged her art training in London. Helenís studied art firstly at the Royal Female School of Art in London and at the Slade School of Fine Art 1896-1899, her tutors included Frederick Brown (1851-1941), Philip Wilson Steer and Henry Tonks (1862-1937) and on leaving The Slade, Helen studied in Paris with her artist friend Rose Mead. In 1901, an artist, portrait painter & copyist in oil, living with her mother at the home of her uncle, Elisha Pechey (1832-1902), a typefounder's agent, at his home Greencroft, Hadley Crescent, Hadley Wood, Barnet. Her father and the rest of her family had moved to this address by 1911, when Helen was a 33-year-old artist painter, with parents Silas 65 and Sarah 63, and siblings Dorothy 32 and Arthur Pechey 30, all born at Bury St Edmund's. She was keen suffragette, who did not sever her ties with Bury St Edmund's completely as in 1918, she and her sister Dorothy, purchased the freehold of 10-12 The Traverse and 9 Well Street in the town. On her father's death in 1930, he left his assets including his home at 1 The Paragon, Blackheath, Kent to Helen and where Helen Margaret Spanton died on 17 September 1934, she was unmarried, her will is at Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds (HD 2110/11) leaving the residue of her estate to the Preservation of Rural England as the Pechey Spanton Bequest. Helen exhibited at the New English Art Club 1901-1915 including 'Portrait of a Lady' (1901), 'In an Alcove' (1902) and 'Rhea' (1905) and her work is held at Brighton and Hove Museums and Art Galleries and the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Works by This Artist