This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
With the meagre opportunities in London open to women artists for showing their work, it is not surprising that the capacity of the wall space of the galleries in Suffolk-street is taxed to the utmost on the occasion of the present - the fifteenth - exhibition of the Society of Women Artists. Out of more than eight hundred numbers in the catalogue, fully three-fourths are works in oil or water colours. That there are among these but few of considerable size is, from the commercial point of view, probably an advantage to the artists, for such pictures are more difficult to sell than those of cabinet size; but the fact that there are no particularly striking canvases robs the galleries of points of concentrated interest, and it has no doubt added to the difficulties of the Hanging Committee. We shall defer individual mention of pictures, confining our remarks in the present notice to exhibits in black-and-white, and the handicrafts, which seem to have escaped special mention elsewhere.
In pen and ink, while there is much calling for commendation in drawing and design, we are sorry to find little that is of merit from the purely technical point of view, about the only exception being the excellent drawings of reptiles by Winifred Austen. There is no little humour and originality, however, in the sketches of street child-life by Edith Farmiloe, albeit the heavy quality of her line never varies; they all look as if intended to be filled in with flat tints, in the manner of Boulet de Monvel. Such treatment would add much to their charm. Adeline S. Illingworth, A.R.E., sends two excellent etchings of views in Rothenburg, Mrs Stretton Hawley a vigorous charcoal study at "A Horse Show," and Fanny Moody's drawings Of dogs are among the very best things in the South-East Room, particularly spirited being the study of two collies jointly carrying a walking-stick "Clarissa" is a delicate combination of water-colour and lead-pencil drawing, which suggests that much might again be done in this once popular genre, in which men like Cosway and Cipriani excelled. As meretriciously pretty and technically far more difficult are the soft and delicately coloured mezzotints by E. E. Milner, of "Countess de Grammont" (the spelling, by the way, is neither French nor English), after Sir Peter Lely, and "The Duchess," after Romney. In the same room are two charming statuettes from the nude by Amy A. Wilkins - "Life's Problem," a girl seated and playing with a cord, and "The Young Diver," the graceful, shrinking figure of a boy, most tenderly modelled.
In the handicrafts section of the exhibition, a varied and excellent display was made by the Royal Female School of Art, including, by Edith Jacobi, a fan painted on -silk, and some admirable designs for printed tiles; a fan painted on chicken skin, by Rosamond Watson, and a length of beautiful silk brocade in old blue and ecru, woven by Messrs. Warner, of Newgate-street, from the handsome design which v. the King's gold medal. It must be gratifying to the friends of the school to note such a practical testimony to the efficiency of its modes of instruction.
The exhibition includes many interesting specimens of needlework, jewellery, wood-carving, metal and leather work, detailed notice of which must be deferred until next month, when we shall give photographic reproductions of some of them. We cannot conclude the present notice, however,without remarking that an embroidered two-fold screen, by Mrs. A. C. Wilson, worked with rare skill, somewhat in the Japanese manner, was one of the most artistic things in this section of the exhibition. We shall illustrate the screen and let the lady herself explain the method of working it. (To be concluded.)
A Notable Carved Cabinet.
The imposing and well-proportioned carved-oak cabinet, over 9 ft. high, made for presentation to H.M. the King, by the workers in the Killarney furniture industry, to commemorate the royal visit to Ireland, was put on exhibition in one of the show windows of Harrod's Stores for several weeks before it was sent to Windsor Castle, and attracted much attention. The carving of the four panels was very simple, that on the upper ones consisting respectively of the monograms of King Edward VII. and of Queen Alexandra, and that on those below representing the Rose and the Shamrock. Very properly, there was no attempt at high " finish," the smooth, dead surface bringing out effectively the beautiful grain of the wood. The carving, crisp and clean cut, showed much skill.