Mary Potter

Golden Kipper


Not on display

Mary Potter 1900–1981
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 508 × 406 mm
Purchased 1940

Display caption

When Mary Potter left the Slade School of Art in 1921 Professor Henry Tonks warned that to succeed as a painter she must give up everything and never marry. But her marriage proved less disruptive than the war. She was forced to give up painting on a regular basis and her work was seldom on public view. 'Golden Kipper', however, was shown at the 'United Artists' exhibition at the Royal Academy in January 1940. The flat decorative design indicates Potter's interest in Oriental art and the colourful near-abstract works of Paul Klee. Gleaming golden kippers became a precious commodity during the harsh years of wartime austerity.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry


Not inscribed.
Canvas, 20×16 (51×40·5).
Purchased from the artist through Arthur Tooth & Sons (Knapping Fund) 1940.
Exh: United Artists, R.A., January–March 1940 (1342).

Painted in Manchester in 1940, according to the artist (letter of 28 January 1958), but as the United Artists exhibition opened on the 5 January 1940, with Press and private views on the two preceding days, it must in fact have been completed late in the previous year.

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

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