MEAD, Rose

1867 - 1946

Rose Mead - self portrait

Emma Rose Mead, known as Rose Mead, was born at 15 Hatter Street, Bury St Edmund’s on 4 December 1867, only daughter and youngest of the five children of Samuel Mead (4 May 1825-24 May 1895), a master house decorator employing several men, and his wife Emma née Smith (11 March 1826-6 January 1919), who married at Bury St Edmund’s in 1846. By 1881 Samuel, with his wife and two of his children including Emma Rose, had retired to 32 Clapham Road, Lowestoft. From about 1885 Rose studied for five years at the Lincoln School of Art and exhibited at the Bury & Suffolk Fine Art Society in 1889, a watercolour 'Interior of St Mary's Church, Bury St Edmund's'. In 1891 Rose was a 23 year old art student, lodging at Clifton Villa Cottage, St Johns Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, her 37 year old brother Arthur, a bank clerk, was also lodging at this address, which was the home of Henry Gouger, a carpenter, and his family. At that time Rose was a student at Westminster School of Art in London under Frederick Brown (1851-1941), before his appointment as Professor at the Slade School of Fine Art, after which she spent a year in Paris at Académie Delécluse exhibiting a pastel portrait at the Paris Salon. Rose lived in London for a short time before returning to Bury St Edmund's and in 1901 was living at 18 Crown Street, nursing her elderly mother, who died in 1919, aged 92. She painted local studies from her studio at her home where she established a busy local practice for portraits and townscapes, using the name Rose Mead, probably to avoid confusion with her mother. A painter in oil and watercolour of portraits and personalities, Rose Mead exhibited six times at the Royal Academy between 1896 and 1916 including ‘Cuisine en Bohème’ and ‘My Mother’, two pictures at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, two at the Royal Cambrian Academy and three at the Society of Women Artists. A member of the Ipswich Art Club 1925-1939, exhibiting from 18a Crown Street, Bury St Edmund's in 1927, eight works 'Pinks', 'The Place, St Martin's Vesubie', 'Gattieres', 'Carros', 'The Blue Shop', 'Balconies in St Martin Vésubie', 'Venanson, Near St Martin Vésubie' and 'Autumn in the Alpes-Maritimes' and was a regular annual exhibitor and at the centenary exhibition of the Art Club in 1974 her oil 'Cottage Interior' was on display. In her later years she lived at St Edmund’s Hotel on Angel Hill and when she failed to return to the hotel, on investigation was found in the hallway of her studio at 18a Crown Street, presumably from a fall downstairs and died from a fractured skull on 28 March 1946, she was unmarried. A large retrospective exhibition was held in Bury St Edmund's in 1955 showing 93 of her paintings and her exhibited works include 'Mrs Noel Griffiths' and 'My Brother'.

Works by This Artist