THOMAS, Margaret

1916 - 2016

Born at Islington, London on 26 September 1916, daughter of Francis Stewart Thomas (1 April 1888-1971), director of a manufacturer, and his wife Grace Darling née Whetherly (31 August 1888-1978), who married at Islington in 1913 and in 1939 were living at 'Ban Cottage', Parkwood Road, Hurst Road, Bexley, Kent. Educated privately and studied at Sidcup School of Art 1934-1936 winning a scholarship to the Slade School of Fine Art 1936-1938 followed by Royal Academy Schools 1938-1939 under Thomas Monnington (1902-1976) and Ernest Jackson (1872-1945). She worked on a dairy farm, then in an apiary in Wiltshire 1941-1944 and her first work ‘Still Life of Norfolk Ham’ was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1943 and she subsequently showed in the Summer Exhibitions for 46 consecutive years. Working solely in oils, and always indoors, Margaret Thomas paints commonplace subjects such as flowers, interiors and water-dominated landscapes, which are rendered extraordinary by her singular vision. In 1947 elected a member of the Royal Society of British Artists having her first solo exhibition at the Leicester Galleries, London in 1949 and another in 1951, the year that she was elected a member of The New English Art Club and has shown with that group annually ever since, she has also exhibited at Aitken Dotts, later the Scottish Gallery, in Edinburgh from 1952. In 1956 she purchased a studio in Edinburgh overlooking 'The Mound' but in 1972 she purchased the Watch House on the Quay at Orford, Suffolk as her first studio in East Anglia and later took a studio in a convertied watermill in Norfolk and finally settled at Ellingham Mill, Bungay in 2000. She exhibited at Edinburgh Festival exhibition and the Canaletto Gallery, London, both 1961; Howard Roberts Gallery, Cardiff 1963; The Minories, Colchester 1964; Queen's University Belfast 1967 & 1973; Mall Galleries, London 1972; Gallery Paton, Edinburgh 1977; Snape Maltings Concert Hall Gallery, Suffolk 1982; Sally Hunter Fine Art, London 1988-1998; The Royal West of England Academy, Bristol 1992-2004 and at Messum's Fine Art, London in 2004. In 1971 and in 1996 awarded the De Lazlo Medal by the Royal Society of British Artists and in 1981 winner of the Hunting Group Award for the Oil Painting of the Year. She donated a work to the 'Westhall Secret Postcard Auction' in 2013 'Daisies'. Today her work is in the collections of The Chantrey Bequest and the Arts Council among other public bodies and are widely collected privately. She died just before her 100th birthday in March 2016.




Works by This Painter