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Kathleen Allen (Kay) (1906-1983)

Coronation, 1952

Watercolour on paper

284mm x 445mm

A watercolour painting depicting the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Kay was at the Royal College of Art with Dick Hosking and Alma Ramsey and became a lifelong friend. She was badly crippled by tuberculosis as a child, which affected her hip. In spite of this, she was a war artist and drew and painted in central London.

Most of Kay Allen's early work was destroyed in the Blitz. Her work as a semi-official War Artist with a permit allowed her to record war work and the effects of the bombing in the City of London. She was also involved in the Artists International Association (AIA) and became Exhibition Secretary during the latter part of the war. She concentrated on a 'new integration of art and life', that is to say, on art that spoke clearly and concerned ordinary working life. In the AIA and the London Group she exhibited scenes of spring and rebuilding. Allen was influenced by John Minton, John Piper, Graham Sutherland and Eduardo Paolozzi. After the war Kay taught at Goldsmiths' College, London University and exhibited regularly in the annual Royal Academy Exhibitions and exhibitions held by the AIA and the Women's International Art Committee among others.


Link to this resource

Donor ref:LEAMG : A1053.2007 (64/28136)

Source: Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum

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