KNIGHT, Dame Laura

1877 - 1970

Dame Laura Knight

As Laura Johnson, she was born at Long Eaton, Derbyshire on 4 August 1877, the youngest of the three daughters of Charles William Johnson and his wife Charlotte née Bates (1853-1893), who married at Nottingham in 1872. In 1881, 3-year-old Laura was living at 9 Noel Street, Radford, Nottingham, the home of Charlotte Johnson's mother, 67-year-old widow Charlotte Bates, who was a lace maker, employing 22 people, together with 28-year-old Laura's mother Charlotte, an art teacher, and siblings Elizabeth E. 7, born Nottingham and Evangeline Agnes 5, born Greasley, Nottinghamshire. Laura's mother Charlotte taught part-time at the Nottingham School of Art and managed to have 13-year-old Laura enrolled as a non-fee paying 'artisan student'. In 1891, Charlotte was a 38-year-old widowed art teacher, living at Birkin Avenue, Radford, Nottingham with her 15-year-old daughter Evangeline, a pupil teacher at a Board School. At the age of fifteen, and still a student, Laura Johnson took over her mother's teaching duties when Charlotte became seriously ill and at the School of Art, Laura met another promising student, 17-year-old Harold Knight (27 January 18743 October 1961) and they married at Loughborough in 1903. They joined an artists' colony at Staithes, Yorkshire, before moving to Newlyn, Cornwall in 1908 and in 1919, Laura and Harold Knight moved to London. In 1929, Laura was created a Dame, and in 1936 elected to the Royal Academy, only the third woman member since its foundation in 1768 and her large retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1965 was another first for a woman. During the Second World War, her popularity and distinguished career made her an obvious choice for the War Artists Advisory Committee, who tasked British artists with recording the war. During her extensive career Knight was among the most successful and popular painters in Britain. Laura exhibited from 16 Langford Place, St John's Wood, London at the Ipswich Art Club in 1932, two watercolours 'On the Rope Ladder' and 'The Looking Glass'. Dame Laura Knight was still of 16 Langford Place when she died on 7 July 1970.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from Market Chambers, South Parade, Nottingham
1904 816 The Old Mill

the late Dame Laura Knight
1971 262 Members of the Diaghilev - pencil & wash
         263 The Spanish Gypsy Campfire - watercolour & wash
         273 Autumn Fires - watercolour
         893 Hop Pickers
         896 Paddock at Ascot
         897 Between Races




Works by This Artist