An exhibition opening on 14 January 2019 at Royal Holloway, University of London, will be celebrating the life and work of artist and Women’s Suffrage campaigner, Christiana Herringham. Christiana Herringham: artist, campaigner, collector will showcase an extensive collection of the artist’s works, as well as a number of works from her own private collection.
This free exhibition, open until 8 March 2019, includes many pictures never seen in public before and is the first exhibition dedicated to Herringham since the 1950’s. Her works were divided between this university and Newnham College by her husband following her death in 1929, making this exhibition the first time the two parts of the collection have been reunited.
Christiana Herringham was an influential figure in the Edwardian art world and the Women’s Suffrage movement in the UK. Independently wealthy, Herringham was one of the founders of the National Art Collection Fund, now known as Art Fund, in order to retain works that would have otherwise been sold overseas. Christiana Herringham: artist, campaigner, collector has been made possible with Art Fund support.
Herringham also used her money to improve the lives of women, and her close friendship with Millicent Fawcett and her sisters saw Herringham heavily involved in the fight for women’s right to vote. She donated money to found scholarships for women’s education, and was one of the founding directors of the Ladies’ Residential Chambers & Co., which built housing for ‘educated working women’.
Widely respected by her contemporaries including Roger Fry and Walter Sickert, Herringham’s work took her across the globe, where she travelled to India to make copies of Buddhist cave paintings in order to help promote Indian Art in the UK. It has been suggested that Herringham’s experience in India may have inspired the character of Mrs Moore in E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India.
Speaking of the exhibition, Dr Laura MacCulloch, College Curator at Royal Holloway, said: “We’re delighted to be showcasing the works of such a significant female artist and campaigner.
“As with the case of many women artists her reputation has been overshadowed by the men of her time, this has not been helped by that fact that late in life she suffered from mental health issues and ended her days in an asylum.
“We’re hopeful that this exhibition will give Lady Herringham the recognition that she deserves. As a warrior for Women’s Suffrage and education, it seems only fitting that this exhibition will be held at Royal Holloway – an institute founded for the education of women.”