A new art exhibition opened last week at London South Bank University. The exhibition, showcasing 16 works by two British female artists Dorothy Mead and Edna Mann, presented works that have been “lost” to history, as the curator says their achievements have been erased over time.
The exhibition will be held at the Borough Road gallery and will illustrate a range of Mead and Mann’s important but little-known art from the mid-twentieth century.
Curator Theresa Kneppers said: “I think that these artists are sadly overlooked,” adding: “This is a unique opportunity to give them their due by having a critical look at these women who have very rarely been recognised as artists in their own right.”
Despite contemporary praise for her painting and being included alongside David Hockney in a 1964 Arts Council exhibition, Londoner Dorothy Mead never had a solo show in her lifetime.
Kneppers also added: “The relative neglect Mead suffered in her lifetime undoubtedly owes something to then prevalent attitudes towards women as creators at the time.”
She believed that because she was a woman, she had difficulty establishing her reputation for her work, which blended abstract and representation.
Mead, described as a headstrong feminist, is said to have remarked that if she had changed her name to George, she would have found it much easier to sell her work.
She was born in east London in 1926 – she was an artist, teacher, and mother, described by her siblings as brave and vivacious. She passed away in 1975 aged just 46.
Both Mead and Mann attended LSBU in the 1940s when it was known as the Borough Polytechnic.
Their exhibition will run Tuesday to Friday until March 29th.