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Woman reclining on a beach

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

Gerald Brockhurst (1890-1978)

The head of a woman signed & dated 1922

RCIN 926848

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In contrast to the several watercolours of women that display a distinctly Edwardian sensibility, another group of portraits is notable for representing the modern post-war woman. In these portraits old-fashioned straw bonnets and ribbons are replaced by the 1920s vogue for bobbed hair and headscarves. The woman in this drawing by the portraitist Gerald Brockhurst looks candidly out at the viewer. She is typical of figures drawn by Brockhurst, who specialised in portraits of women whose fearlessness and independence sometimes seem to radiate from the canvas.