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Woman reclining on a beach

Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and the changing status of women in the 1920s

AH Collins (active 1920s)

'At Bay': the head and shoulders of a woman c.1923

RCIN 926904

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The striking diagonal thrust of this portrait, together with the sidelong glance and bared shoulder of its subject, lend a dramatic edge to this watercolour. The colourful headscarf and gold earrings complement the figure’s arresting beauty. This may be an idealised portrait of the actor Florence Reed, who played the part of Aline Graham in the 1914 Broadway production of At Bay, a play written by George Scarborough. Alternatively, it may represent Chrystal Herne, who took the role in the silent film version of 1915.