EATON, Nellie

1865 - 1949

Ellen Mary Maria Eaton, also known as Nellie Eaton, was born at Chelsea, London on 23 August 1865, daughter of Henry Eaton, a chief clerk in insurance, and his wife Mary Maria née Bayly, who married at Chelsea in 1855. In 1871, a 5 year old on a visit to Markham Square, Chelsea, the home of Richard Dixon, a commercial clerk, together with her parents, 51 year old Henry and 50 year old Mary, but her father died at Kensington in 1874, aged 54. Educated at Kensington, London and in 1881, Nellie was a 15 year old student staying with her 64 year old unmarried uncle, William Bayly, on a private income, at 47 Russell Road, Kensington. In 1891, Nellie and her 70 year old mother were living at 88 Warwick Gardens, Kensington but by 1901 they had moved to 3 Minnis Road, Birchington, Kent. Her mother died at Kensington in 1907, aged 86, when Nellie moved to Whatmer Hall, Sturry, near Canterbury, Kent from where in 1912 she exhibited at the East Kent Art Society, two watercolours 'Poole Harbour' and 'Boston Market' and where she regularly exhibited. An acknowledged amateur artist, having a fine command of pen-and-ink drawings and watercolour paintings, who exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions; the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour; Royal Society of British Artists; Grosvenor Galleries; Glasgow and elsewhere. She also had a home at Cliff Cottage, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth and was an independent and somewhat eccentric character and a member and regular annual exhibitor at Ipswich Art Club from 1919 until her death, including in 1923 watercolours 'Swanage', 'Friary, Beveley' and 'Minster, Beveley'; in 1927 'Mill Pond', 'Wharfside, Maldon' and 'Sandpit, Witham', in 1932 'Ely', 'Suffolk Coast', 'The Quay, Yarmouth' and 'The Open Door, Ely', in 1937 'A Cathedral Church', 'St Thomas' Church, Winchelsea', 'The Close, Winchester' and 'Leominster, Norman Door', in 1943 'Battle Abbey', 'Warden Point' and 'Covehithe' and in 1944 'Salhouse' and 'Great Yarmouth Church'. Her favourite painting locations were around Canterbury, the Kent coast, Romney Marsh, the Medway near Rochester and the East Anglia coast. She was also a member of the Woodpecker Art Club, later named the Norfolk & Norwich Art Circle [q.v.], 1922-1947 from Sturry. In 1939, she was living at Whatmer Hall, Kent where she died on 15 April 1949, aged 83. She was unmarried and her last wishes were that her capital assets of some 30,000 should be used to benefit artists, nurses and gentlewomen and after her death, most of her properties were sold and, in 1954, the Eaton Fund for Artists, Nurses and Gentlewomen became a registered charity, with the aim of giving comfort and support to people in these groups and was still active in 2021.

Works by This Artist