EDMUNDS, Keith [Kay] McKay

1891 - 1949

Keith McKay Edmunds was born at Launceston, Tasmania, Australia on 28 July 1891, son of Walter George Edmunds (12 October 1865-1937) and his wife Fanny Jane née Fysh (1864-1943), who married at Launceston on 18 June 1890. Known as Kay, he studied at Scotch College, Melbourne and at the National Gallery Art School of Victoria, Melbourne. In 1913 he lost part of his leg in a motorcycle accident and in 1914 was living at 2 Isabella Grove, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia and, owing to his disability, did not serve during the First World War and in 1915, came to London and worked as a portrait painter. He used various names including Kay and KME and his nicknames included 'Tog' in Australia and 'Corky' at Felixstowe. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1917 and in 1920 elected a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and was also a member of Royal Institute of Oil Painters. He married at Hammersmith, London in 1920, Dorothy Mary Cubitt (1898-1985) and they lived at various addresses in London until 1922, when they moved to 'The Bungalow', Felixstowe Ferry, Suffolk, also known as 'The Studio' and to where Keith had moved for health reasons. They had two children born in London 1920-1921 and two further born at Felixstowe Ferry 1922-1924 and about 1925 his wife seems to have departed with two of their children, they were divorced in 1935. In 1928, Edmunds gives his address as 36 Adam & Eve Mews, London, and in 1936 he married secondly at Felixstowe, Marjorie Redpath (1903-1971), who was born at Woodbridge, Suffolk. As Keith McKay Edmonds, he exhibited at the Ipswich Fine Art Club from Felixstowe Ferry, Suffolk in 1927, six paintings 'Man's Head, French Zouave Officer', 'Portrait Sketch-W. Barribal, the Artist', 'Woman's Head', 'Portrait-F. Whiting, Esq.', 'Portrait Sketch-Arthur Parkham, Esq.' and a crayon 'Man's Head'. In 1939, a married 'illustrator artist', living at The Studio, Felixstowe Ferry, Suffolk and during the Second World War he had a boat at Heybridge, Essex where he stored some hundreds of his works. During his time at Felixstowe, he spent a great deal of his time designing and sailing and at the Annual Felixstowe Ferry Regatta he raced his boat 'Kandoo' and was a founder member of the Felixstowe Ferry Dingy Club for which he designed the pennant, which is still in use. After the War he returned to Australia where he lived with his doctor brother and returned to Hobart, Tasmania where he had a studio in Tasmania House, Liverpool Street and two of his works hang in the Tasmania Club. Keith McKay Edmunds died in Hobart General Hospital, Tasmania on 27 July 1949 and buried in Fawkner Cemetery, Fawkner, Victoria, Australia four days later. As a book illustrator he used the name Kay Edmunds and his work is, amongst other, in 'Pearsonís Magazine' Dec 1921; 'The Yellow Magazine' Dec 2 and Dec 16, 1921, Feb 24, Mar 17 and Mar 24, 1922; 'The Red Magazine' Feb 17, Mar 31 and Apr 14, 1922, and 'Holly Leaves' Nov 26, 1932. His portraits include those of noted Australian's 'Rt.Hon. Andrew Fisher, Australian High Commissioner'; and both 'Sir Rupert and Lady Shoobridge'; 'Dr Wilfred Giblin, F.R.C.S., of Hobart, Tasmania' and that of 'Col W. W. Giblin, CB.', President of the Tasmania Club, which was listed as a finalist for The Archibald Prize in 1948.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from Langham Chambers, All Souls' Gardens, West London
1917 71 Portrait' (self-portrait)
from 3 Rosetti Studios, Rosetti Gardens, Chelsa
1918 593 Back from the Front
         1275 W. H. Bullock, Esq. - etching
from 2 St Paul's Studios, Baron's Court, London
1921 129 In the Studio
1922 254 My Grandmamma's Dress

Works by This Artist