Beloved British artist Mary Fedden was born in Bristol and aspired to be a painter from a young age. She studied at the Slade School of Art in London under theater designer Vladimir Polunin, who had collaborated with the Ballets Russes. During the war, she served in the Land Army and the Women's Voluntary Service, later working as a stage painter for the Arts Theatre in Great Newport Street and creating wartime propaganda murals. In 1944, she was called up and sent abroad as a driver for the Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI). Beginning in the late 1950s, Fedden became the first woman to teach painting at the Royal College of Art. Her students included David Hockney and Allen Jones.
She married fellow artist Julian Trevelyan in 1951, whom she had met prior to the war. They traveled extensively throughout Europe, Africa, India, Russia, and America. She is best known for her Matisse inspired still life paintings that infused everyday scenes with elements of surrealist qualities. While her husband's career overshadowed her work during her lifetime, she has gained recognition since her death in 2012. Fedden's work can be found in numerous public collections such as the Tate, the Royal Collection, and New Zealand's National Art Gallery. In 1992, she was elected to the Royal Academy.
Abernethy and Tabor Classes