MEAD, (Emma) Rose

1867 - 1946

Rose Mead - self portrait

Known as Rose Mead, she was born at 15 Hatter Street, Bury St Edmund’s on 4 December 1867, youngest of the five children of Samuel Mead, a master house decorator employing several men, and his wife Emma née Smith, who married at Bury St Edmund’s in 1846. By 1881 Samuel, with his wife and two of his children including Emma Rose, had retired to 32 Clapham Road, Lowestoft. She studied for five years at the Lincoln School of Art from about 1885 and exhibited at the Bury & Suffolk Fine Art Society in 1889 a watercolour 'Interior of St Mary's Church, Bury St Edmund's' but in 1891 Rose was a 23 year old art student lodging at Clifton Villa Cottage, St Johns Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, her 37 year old brother Arthur, a bank clerk, was also lodging at this address, the home of Henry Gouger, a carpenter, and his family when Rose was a student at Westminster School of Art in London under Frederick Brown (1851-1941). After this she spent a year in Paris at Académie Delacluse exhibiting at the Paris Salon. Rose lived in London for a short time before returning to Bury St Edmund's and in 1901 was living at 18 Crown Street, nursing her elderly mother, who died in 1919, aged 92. She painted local studies from her studio at her home where she established a busy local practice for portraits and townscapes, she used the name Rose Mead, probably to avoid confusion with her mother. A painter in oil and watercolour of portraits and personalities, Rose Mead exhibited six times at the Royal Academy between 1896 and 1916 including ‘Cuisine en Bohème’ and ‘My Mother’, two pictures at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, two at the Royal Cambrian Academy and three at the Society of Women Artists. A member of the Ipswich Art Club 1925-1939 exhibiting from 18a Crown Street, Bury St Edmunds in 1927, eight works 'Pinks', 'The Place, St Martin's Vesubie', 'Gattieres', 'Carros', 'The Blue Shop', 'Balconies in St Martin Vesubie', 'Venanson, Near St Martin Vesubie' and 'Autumn in the Alpes Maratimes' and was a regular annual exhibitor and at the centenary exhibition in 1974 her oil 'Cottage Interior' was on display. In her later years she lived at St Edmund’s Hotel on Angel Hill from where she failed to return and on investigation was found in the hallway of her studio, presumably from a fall downstairs and died from a fractured skull in March 1946, she was unmarried. A large retrospective exhibition was held in Bury St Edmund's in 1955 showing 93 of her paintings and her exhibited works include 'Mrs Noel Griffiths' and 'My Brother'.




Works by This Painter