Museum Highlight

Faith Ashford

We were able to display this work along with a few other highlights during our RGA Pop-Up at Reading Museum Sir John Madejski Art Gallery February 2018. [Highlighted: Feb 2017]

Old Cottages, Caversham
by Faith Ashford (1884–1967)

Oil on Canvas
27cm x 38cm
Date: 1939

RGA member: 1930–1944

Reading Museum Accession Number
REDMG : 1949.129.1

This is possibly the view from the artist’s home on Matlock Road off Woodcote Road near the junction with St Peter’s Hill.

Faith Ashford (1884–1967) was a founder member and regular exhibitor of the Reading Guild of Artists until she moved away to Newcastle around the mid-1940s. In 1911 she worked as a ‘Kindergarten Assistant Schoolmistress’ in New Earswick village, Yorkshire (a garden village established in 1902 by Joseph Rowntree), boarding with ‘Kindergarten Schoolmistress Annie Pritchard. By 1930 they lived in Matlock Road, Caversham Heights, where ‘Miss Ashford was a lecturer at the Reading University School of Art, and Miss Pritchard ran a school for the mentally disabled.’ The artist and fellow Guild member Mark Symons was a frequent visitor to their home.

Faith Ashford mainly exhibited oil paintings, including Portrait of Anne Pritchard in 1936, but also exhibited weaving. She ‘had a weaving loom on which she wove the material for their clothes, it was, by local standards an unusual household’ says a young neighbour of the time and future member of the RGA Joan Wilder.

The grave inscription records of the Mevagissey Old Cemetery show us that Faith Ashford died June 24th, 1967 and is buried with her lifelong companion Anne Pritchard 1876–1955.

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