THOMAS, Margaret

1916 - 2016

Margaret Thomas at Ellingham Mill

Margaret Thomas was born at Islington, London on 26 September 1916, daughter of Francis Stewart Thomas (1 April 1888-15 September 1971), director of a manufacturing business, and his wife Grace Darling née Whetherly (31 August 1888-1978), who married at Islington in 1913 and in 1939 were living at 'Barn Cottage', Parkwood Road, Hurst Road, Bexley, Kent. Margaret was educated privately and studied atSidcup School of Art 1934-1936, winning a scholarship to the Slade School of Fine Art 1936-1938, followed by Royal Academy Schools 1938-1939 under Thomas Monnington (1902-1976) and Ernest Jackson (1872-1945). Margaret worked on a dairy farm, then in an apiary in Wiltshire 1941-1944 and her first painting ‘Still Life’ was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1938 and she subsequently showed in the Summer Exhibitions for most of the next fifty years. Working solely in oils, and always indoors, Margaret Thomas painted commonplace subjects such as flowers, interiors and water-dominated landscapes, which are rendered extraordinary by her singular vision. In 1947 elected a member of the Royal Society of British Artists having her first solo exhibition at the Leicester Galleries, London in 1949 and another in 1951, the year that she was elected a member of the New English Art Club and has shown with that group annually ever since. In 1956 she purchased a studio in Edinburgh overlooking 'The Mound' but in 1972 purchased the Watch House on the Quay at Orford, Suffolk as her first studio in East Anglia and in 2000 took a studio on the top floor of the converted a Norfolk watermill, Ellingham Mill, Bungay on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. Margaret has also exhibited at Aitken Dotts, later the Scottish Gallery, in Edinburgh from 1952 also at Edinburgh Festival exhibition and the Canaletto Gallery, London; Howard Roberts Gallery, Cardiff; Minories, Colchester; Queen's University Belfast; Mall Galleries, London; Gallery Paton, Edinburgh; Snape Maltings Galleries, Suffolk; Sally Hunter Fine Art, London; Royal West of England Academy, Bristol and at Messum Fine Art, London. In 1971 and in 1996 awarded the De Lazlo Medal by the Royal Society of British Artists and in 1981 winner of the Hunting Group Award for the Oil Painting of the Year. She donated a work to the 'Westhall Secret Postcard Auction' in 2013 'Daisies'. Today her work is in the collections of The Chantrey Bequest and the Arts Council among other public bodies and are widely collected privately. She died just before her 100th birthday on 27 March 2016.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from Barn Cottage, Bexley, Kent
1938 609 Still Life
from 5 Swindon Street, Highworth, Wiltshire
1942 335 Elsie
from Halfway Cottage, 11a North Road, Highgate, North London
1946 356 Yorkshire Farm
1947 243 Summer Storm, Yorkshire
         288 Waiting
1948 269 Cyclamen
         469 Darning
1949 459 Ceramic Group
         646 Evening: Highgate Ponds
1950 102 Chloe
1951 118 Mimosa
         458 Apple Blossom
1952 101 Great Aunt Jane: aged three
1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984
from Ellingham Mill, Bungay, Suffolk
1985 175 Cyclamen with Green Tissue Paper
1131 Old Roses from Claydon
1986 654 Rose Hips and Enamel Mug
1160 Self-portrait Shading Eyes
1987 1009 Frozen River
1988 990 Donkey with Bluebells
999 The Notice Board
1989 82 The Indian Scarf
962 Cyclamen and Newsprint
1991 83 Narcissus with Indian Curtain
1992 1076 Table Top
1081 The Chair
1993 855 Quinces
1994 1016 The Model’s Throne – oil
1996 1029 Old Roses – oil
2003 729 Spring Moon at Sea: the Aldeburgh Window - oil

Works by This Artist