Marjorie Bates was born in Melbourne,
Derbyshire, being the younger daughter of George and Emily Bates. George
Bates made a considerable fortune in the manufacture of mosquito netting
which enabled Marjorie to live comfortably in later years although her
paintings also sold well. The family soon moved to "The Grange" in
Wilford, near Nottingham.
The picture below is set in a
neighbouring garden that was owned by a friend of Marjorie.
Marjorie Bates studied at the Nottingham
School of Art and under Jean Paul Laurens in Paris. She knew
Laura Knight (nee Johnson) who married one of the tutors at the School
of Art (Marjorie was also distantly related to Laura Knight), and Harold Gresley, who were both well known Nottingham artists.
She exhibited at the Royal Academy and
other venues, and was a member of the Nottingham Society of Artists and
the Pastel Society. Nottingham remained her home for the rest of her
life, her studio being in the Nottingham Lace Market at one time.
Her output was quite prolific and her
paintings, plus many drawings, were used to print postcards, greeting
cards, calendars and book illustrations. Some were produced as framed
prints and are often mistaken for original watercolours, pastels or
drawings. They are often architectural
or street scenes. Go to this page for more information and examples:
Her paintings are mainly in watercolour
(as in the picture above of Wilford) or in pastel (as on the right, which
was first exhibited at the Royal Academy). Subjects include garden
scenes, landscapes, architecture, street scenes, figure studies and
portraits. Unlike many artists, she appears to have been willing to
tackle almost any subject in any media. Some of her work is held by the
Castle Museum, Nottingham.
During the First World War she joined
the Red Cross and acted as a nurse in Malta. Unfortunately the man she
intended to marry died in the war, but following the later break-up of
her sister's marriage she looked after her children.
In later years she stayed in the
continent quite frequently and the first picture above was probably done
in the South of France. She also travelled to Rhodesia where she had
relatives. Photographs of Marjorie Bates as a girl and sketching in
later life are shown below.
The photographs above and other material on this
page are reproduced by courtesy of Christine Larkin.
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