EDMUNDS, Keith [Kay] McKay

1891 - 1949

Blighty Magazine

Born at Launceston, Tasmania, Australia on 28 July 1891, son of Walter George Edmunds (1865-1937) and his wife Fanny Jane née Fysh (1864-1943), who married at Launceston on 18 June 1890. He studied at Scotch College, Melbourne and at the National Gallery Art School of Victoria, Melbourne. In 1913 he lost part of his leg in a motor cycle accident and in 1914 was living at 2 Isabella Grove, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia. Owing to his disability he could not serve during the First World War and in 1915 came to London and worked as a portrait painter. He used various name including Kay and KME and his nicknames included 'Tog' in Australia and 'Corky' at Felixstowe. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1917 when he had on show a self-portrait and in 1920 elected a member of the Royal Institute of Portrait Painters and was a Member of Royal Institute of Painters in Oil. He married at Hammersmith, London in 1920, Dorothy Mary Cubitt (1898-1985) and they lived at various addresses in London until 1922 when they moved to 'The Bungalow', Felixstowe Ferry, Suffolk, also known as 'The Studio' and to where Keith had moved for health reasons. They had two children born in London 1920-1921 and two further born at Felixstowe Ferry 1922-1924 and about 1925 his wife seems to have departed, with two of their children, were divorced in 1935. In 1928 Edmunds gives his address as 36 Adam & Eve Mews, London and in 1936 he married secondly at Felixstowe, Suffolk, Marjorie Redpath (1903-1971), who was born at Woodbridge, Suffolk. As Keith McKay Edmonds, he exhibited at the Ipswich Fine Art Club from Felixstowe Ferry, Suffolk in 1927 six paintings 'Man's Head, French Zouave Officer', 'Portrait Sketch-W. Barribal, the Artist', 'Woman's Head', 'Portrait-F. Whiting, Esq.', 'Portrait Sketch-Arthur Parkham, Esq.' and a crayon 'Man's Head'. In 1939 a married 'illustrator artist' living at The Studio, Felixstowe Ferry, Suffolk and during the Second World War he had a boat at Heybridge, Essex where he stored some hundreds of his works. During his time at Felixstowe he spent a great deal of his time designing and sailing and at the Annual Felixstowe Ferry Regatta he raced his boat'Kandoo' and was a founder member of the Felixstowe Ferry Dingy Club for which he designed the pennant which is still in use. After the War he returned to Australia where he lived with his doctor brother and returned to Hobart, Tasmania where he had a studio in Tasmania House, Liverpool Street and two of his works hang in the Tasmania Club. He died in Hobart General Hospital, Hobart on 27 July 1949 and buried in Fawkner Cemetery, Fawkner, Victoria, Australia four days later. As a book illustrator he used the name Kay Edmunds and is included amongst other in 'Pearsonís Magazine' Dec 1921, 'The Yellow Magazine' Dec 2 and Dec 16 1921, Feb 24, Mar 17 and Mar 24 1922, 'The Red Magazine' Feb 17, Mar 31 and Apr 14 1922 and 'Holly Leaves' Nov 26 1932. His portraits include those of noted Australians 'Rt.Hon. Andrew Fisher, Australian High Commissioner'; and both 'Sir Rupert and Lady Shoobridge'; 'Dr. Wilfred Giblin, F.R.C.S., of Hobart, Tasmania' and that of 'Col W. W. Giblin, CB.', President of the Tasmania Club which was listed as a finalist for The Archibald Prize in 1948.






Works by This Painter