UCL News


Portrait of a Young Woman to be included in Art Everywhere

9 August 2013

Portrait of a Young Woman - by Winifred Knights UCL Art museum is proud to announce that Portrait of a Young Woman, a painting from our collection by artist Winifred Knights, will be included in Art Everywhere, a vast exhibition of the nation's favourite British art that will go on display on thousands of poster and billboard sites across the UK, from 12-25 August 2013.

Winifred Knights SLADE

Dr Nina Pearlman, Manager of UCL Art Museum said: "It is wonderful to see Winifred Knights' Portrait of a Young Woman amongst the 50 finalists. It is without doubt an artwork ahead of its time. This powerful portrait demonstrates Knights' distinctive mark as an artist - angular forms and a subdued palette. Significantly, this painting captures something of the fighting spirit of women artists at the Slade in the early 20th century. While the sitter's identity and heritage remain unknown, Knights succeeded in imbuing her with a forcefulness and poetic serenity that give her that sense of purpose that resonates so strongly with our contemporary moment."

With over 30,000 Facebook likes and over a 1000 individual donations, people from around the world have helped to create the world's largest art show. Votes and donations came from far and wide including Europe, North and South America and Asia.

A projected audience of 90% of the UK's adult population, from Banff & Buchan in Scotland to Torbay in Devon, and from Lowestoft in Suffolk to Belfast in Northern Ireland, will enjoy beautiful art, including Winifred Knights' Portrait of a Young Woman, for two weeks this summer. Cities, towns and villages of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will see poster sites.

Using image-recognition and augmented reality technology via blippar, each physical poster will be interactive, enabling the public to point their phones at the art to access instantaneous information about each piece, visit the collection and socially share their favourites.  

Winifred Knights painted Portrait of a Young Woman in 1920, when she was studying at the Slade School of Fine Art. Born in London in 1899, Knights studied at the Slade from 1915-17 and again from 1918-20. Her teachers included Henry Tonks and Fred Brown. In 1920 she won the Rome Scholarship for her work The Deluge, now part of the Tate Collection. UCL Art Museum  has over 600 works by Knights, many of them studies and sketches of both figures and landscapes as well as African sculpture.

The work will be exhibited at UCL Art Museum this autumn as part of the Black Bloomsbury exhibition co-curated with Dr Gemma Romain and Dr Caroline Bressey of the Equiano Centre based in UCL's Department of Geography. The exhibition will highlight the history of the black presence in Bloomsbury during the years 1918 to 1948. It will feature art works from UCL Art Museum - alongside archival documents from the Slade, UCL Special Collections, and UCL Record office - emphasising themes of geographical spaces, migration, race, and 1930s political struggles.