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  • Mabel Annesley
    Date: 1881-1959
    Lady Mabel Annesley
    Born Place: County Down
    Biography: Mabel Annesley was born and brought up in County Down, the daughter of an Irish Peer and grand-daughter of the eminent Victorian painter, Sir Francis Grant, PRA. She studied at the Frank Calderon School of Animal Painting in 1895 and was elected a member of the Belfast Art Society in 1899. She was 40 when she came to wood engraving, studying from 1920 to 1921 under Noel Rooke at the Central School. She first exhibited with the Society of Wood Engravers in 1922, being elected a member in 1925. According to her unfinished autobiography (published posthumously in 1964), Paul Nash and David Jones were particular influences. She produced wood-engraved illustrations both for the publisher Duckworth (Richard Rowley's County Down Songs (1924) and Apollo in Mourne (1926) and for the Golden Cockerel Press Songs from Robert Burns (1925). After the death of her husband in the war, she moved to Ireland to manage the family estate. Despite developing arthritis in her hand, she continued to engrave, turning from boxwood to softer lino. In 1932 and 1929 she presented the Belfast Museum and Art Gallery with her fine collection of contemporary wood engravings. She travelled widely and emigrated to New Zealand in 1945, returning to England about 1953. In this year an exhibition of her silverpoints, watercolours and wood engravings was held in the Batsford Gallery. Author: JS