KINGSFORD, Florence Kate

1872 - 1949

Florence Kate Kingsford, was born at Lewisham, London on 25 May 1872, daughter of Charles Tomson Kingsford (1843-7 May 1902), financial agent, and his wife Annie Harriette née Moseley (6 January 1842-22 November 1930), who married at St Stephen's church, Lewisham on 23 August 1866. Florence studied at Blackheath, Lee and Lewisham School of Art, winning prizes in 1888-1891. In 1891, an 18 year old art student, living at 7 Birch Grove, Lee, Lewisham with her parents, 47 year old Charles and 48 year old Annie, and her five siblings Maria Charlotte 23, Anne Grace 19, Norah Bertha 16, Olive Gertrude Moseley 13 and Marjorie Joan 1, all born in London. In 1901, a 28 year old artist, living at 5 Stratford Studios, Kensington with a fellow artist, 30 year old Winifred V. Hansan. A member of the Ipswich Art Club 1893-1896 and exhibited from 7 Birch Grove in 1895, five watercolours 'Head of a Spanish Girl', 'Autumn Daisies', 'Study of Buttercups', 'Norah' and 'Marcella' but does not seem to shown at Ipswich again, she also exhibited at the Second Exhibition of the Handicraft Guild in 1903 and at the First Exhibition of the Society of Painters in Tempera, held at the Carfax Gallery, Bury Street, London in 1905 and at the Arts and Crafts Society at the Grafton Gallery in 1906. Florence worked for the Ashdene Press where she met her future husband [Sir] Sydney Carlyle Cockerell (16 July 1867-1 May 1962), and they married at Headington, Oxford in December 1907. In 1911, a 38 year old, living at 'Wayside', Cavendish Avenue, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge with her 43 year old husband, a director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, and two of their three children including Sir Christopher Cockerell (1910-1999), inventer of the hovercraft. Her husband convinced her to turn from illustration to focus on illumination and calligraphy, which she studied under Edward Johnston (1872-1944). Between 1900 and 1910 she produced 60 works but in 1916 became debilitated by Multiple Sclerosis. She was of 21 Kew Gardens Road, Richmond, Surrey when she died at the Nightingale Nursing Home, Strafford Road, Twickenham, Middlesex on 18 September 1949. Her most well known piece was completed while making drawings of the finds of Flinders Petrie (1852-1953) in Egypt from 1905-1906. Sir Sydney Cockerell displayed Kate's calligraphy at major venues, including the Louvre in 1914, and after her death prepared a catalogue of all of her works then in his possession. Her manuscript of Akenaten's 'Hymn to Atten the Sun-Disc' is currently part of the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge.

Works by This Artist