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Woman reclining on a beach

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

Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970)

Children c.1923

RCIN 927131

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Dame Laura Knight’s contribution is strikingly modern in its expressionistic representation and bold use of ink and watercolour. A group of young people, including a girl or young woman holding an infant (perhaps a sibling), appear to have gathered to witness an event. The strident handling of the media seems in keeping with the subject matter, reflecting the painter’s concern with socially marginalised communities. In 1929 Laura Knight was created a Dame, and in 1936 she became the first woman elected to full membership of the Royal Academy.