Mildred Anne Butler

1858–1941

Biography

Mildred Anne Butler RA RWS (11 January 1858 – 11 October 1941) was an Irish artist, who worked in watercolour and oil of landscape, genre and animal subjects. Butler was born and spent most of her life in Kilmurry, Thomastown, County Kilkenny and was associated with the Newlyn School of painters.

Mildred Anne's en plein air style is dominated by the theme of nature and reflects scenes of domesticity around the family home in Kilmurry. She achieved distinction in her lifetime and exhibited in major galleries in Ireland and England. Among her patrons were Queen Mary of Teck and Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse.

She became a member of the Royal Academy in 1893. In 1896, Butler's Morning Bath was exhibited at the Royal Academy. It was the first work by a female artist to be purchased by the trustees of the Chantrey Bequest and was then presented to the Tate. She became an associate member of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1896 and was granted full membership in 1937.

She was one of the first academicians elected by the Ulster Academy of Arts in 1930. She virtually stopped painting by the 1930s due to arthritis and died in 1941, aged 83. Around four hundred pieces of her work were sold as part of the artist's studio sale in 1980. She is celebrated in an Postage stamp by An Post.

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