Annie Margaret Bradley
Any regular visitors to Reading Museum would have recognised this striking, and perhaps slightly mysterious portrait which hung in the lower gallery amongst some prominent Reading “celebrities” attributed to “Miss Bradley”. [Highlighted: Apr 2017]
The painter of this work, Annie Bradley, exhibited at the very first RGA Annual Exhibition at the Municipal Art Gallery, Reading Museum, 1930. She served continuously on the RGA Council for the first eight years of the Guild’s existence, was vice-president from 1939–1941, and at whose house Council Meetings were regularly held. She was a “competent and sound painter” in both oils and watercolour, many of which were portraits.
In 1935 two works were listed in the catalogue of the Annual Exhibition which was reported in the Evening Gazette Nov 12th 1935: “Another outstanding picture among the oils is Green Girl in St Mary’s Church Reading by Miss Annie M Bradley, also of Reading. I do not understand the title as perhaps I ought but I admire tremendously the calm lovely grace and rich parchment tone of the drapings. The picture has a companion Reading’s Green Girl at Work and here again a lovely figure set in lovely shades”.
Annie Bradley was an Art Teacher with perhaps some connection with the “The Green Girls’ School?”
“At a Council Meeting held in September 1941 we read, sadly, of a posthumous vote of thanks ‘to the late Miss Bradley, their host for so long … She had been in the thick of things right from the beginning.'”
In the RGA Annual Exhibition 1942 it states: catalogue number 22, Annie Bradley (The Late), The Green Girl, oil painting, no price. Probably hung in commemoration of her service to the RGA.