Julian Phelps Allan

Marjorie

1928

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Medium
Bronze on limestone base
Dimensions
Object: 515 x 230 x 240 mm, 16 kg
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1929
Reference
N04479

Display caption

Having worked as a domestic science teacher, Allan began to study sculpture in the 1920s. She changed her name from Eva Dorothy Allan to Julian Phelps Allan in 1929. At that time, assuming a masculine name was a way of declaring a lesbian identity. This portrait bust was commissioned by the sitter, Marjorie Thomasson, to give to her father just before she went to live abroad. The emphasis on the sitter’s face, isolated from the shoulders, creates a sense of unusual delicacy. By contrast, her short hair, emerging as a series of ripples in the bronze, suggests a confident modernity.

Julian Phelps Allen was born in Southampton in 1892 and died in 1996.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

N04479 MARJORIE 1928
 
Inscr. ‘E.D. Allan 1928’ b.r.
Bronze, 14 1/2×8×9 (37×20×23).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1929.
Exh: R.A., 1929 (1407).
Lit: Eric Underwood, A Short History of English Sculpture, 1933, p.173.

The sitter is Miss Marjorie Thomasson, daughter of Franklin Thomasson and wife of Robert Lathbury of Longham Wood, Mayfield, Sussex. The bust was commissioned by the sitter to give to her father just before she went abroad in 1928.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I