WALNE, Kathleen Irene

1915 - 2011

Kathleen Walne

Kathleen Irene Walne, was born at Ipswich on 3 October 1915, fourth of the seven children of Herbert Charles Walne (29 November 1890-1972) and his wife Ruby Irene née Cornell (16 March 1888-1980), who married at Axbridge, Somerset in 1909 and in 1939 were living at 78 Reading Road, Ipswich. Kathleen studied at Ipswich Art School where she met her future husband artist Frank (Francis) Ward [q.v.] and as Miss Kathleen Walne, exhibited at the Ipswich Art Club in 1933 from 78 Reading Road, Ipswich, two watercolours 'Blakenham' and 'Seaside Fun'. In 1933, her husband Frank entered the Royal College of Art in London and, realising that Kathleen's originality was not appreciated at Ipswich, tried to interest London galleries in her work. He was successful with Lucy Wertheim, who three years earlier had opened Wertheim Gallery in Burlington Gardens, devoted to showing talented young artists. It was agreed that Kathleen would join Wertheim as gallery dogsbody. It would be as a figure painter that Kathleen would establish her name, being given her first solo show in 1935 and who continued to show her work until Wertheim's death in 1971. She married at Chelsea in 1938, Frank Clifford Ward [q.v.] and the following year, Frank joined the staff of Wilson's boys' grammar school in Camberwell, south-east London (now in Sutton), and they were living at 23 William Road, Ashford, Kent. Much of Kathleen's war was spent with her daughter Hilary, in Stradbroke, Suffolk, where Frank's father had a grocery shop. As Mrs F. C. Ward, she exhibited at the Ipswich Art Club in 1944, 'A Portrait'. After the second world war Frank and Kathleen returned to live in Chelsea where Kathleen returned to her painting, and she and her husband had a successful show at Compendium 2 Gallery in 1972. A painter, designer and draughtsman she also exhibited at Salford Art Gallery, who also gave her a retrospective in 1986, and Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne. In 1968 Kathleen and her husband moved to Brighton where she died on 30 June 2011, she was survived by a son Richard, and two daughters Hilary and Mairny. [‘Mixed Palette’ by David Buckman]

Works by This Artist