1885 - c.1918

Louise Jopling

Mrs Jopling’s School of Art was founded by Louise Jopling (1843-1933) who was born the daughter of a railway contractor. Louise Jane Goode, also known as Mrs Romer and Mrs Jopling Rowe began her art training in her early twenties, when she was living in Paris with her first husband. She went on to exhibit her work at the Royal Academy and the Grosvenor Gallery, alongside still-renowned painters including James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) and the pre-Raphaelite Boys Club. Her business was born in 1885 when Louise started to give ‘demonstration’ classes in her studio, these went well and by November 1886, she was advertising her classes. In 1886, she moved to South Kensington, her new home had a studio large enough for her to continue teaching and as interest grew in ‘Mrs Jopling’s School of Art’, the venture became more formal. She developed a more complete curriculum, including tuition in watercolours, black and white illustration, and sculpture. She took an extra studio in nearby Clareville Grove and recruited other teachers to tutor up to thirty students. In 1888 a formally appointed director took over the day-to-day running of the school from her sister. Louise was one of the first people to be interviewed by Henrietta Müller when she launched her Women’s Penny Paper that same year. Müller devoted a good chunk of the article to the art school, commenting: ‘Mrs Jopling-Rowe, apart from her own artistic career, is doing excellent work at her school in teaching women-students to work in earnest.’ In 1891 Louise was one of the four women who were founder members of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. In 1894, Louise moved to 3 Pembroke Road in South Kensington, and re-located the school to a larger building backing onto it in Logan Place and in 1901, she set up a new business, the Jopling Art Club. For a fee of 5 guineas a year, artists who had exhibited in any London gallery could work from the school model every morning, use the studio for private work in the afternoons and evenings and exhibit their work at the weekends. Amateurs were also allowed to join, thought they had to pay ten guineas a year. Towards the end of the First World War Louise made some changes in her life, she gave up her house in London, closed the school and moved to Amersham, her home until her death in November 1933. Suffolk artists who studied at Mrs Jopling's School of Art include Winifred Austen and Alice Kirkby Goyder.