Ethel Kirkpatrick Biography

Ethel Kirkpatrick




Ethel Alice Kirkpatrick was born in Holborn, London in 1869, the daughter of Mary and Thomas Sutton Kirkpatrick. Her mother was from Yorkshire, her father a professional soldier from a landed family at Coolmine in Dublin. He had left the army the year she was born and the family eventually moved to Exeter, where Ethel had the distinction of being born in Cold Bath Fields Prison, Clerkenwell, London, where her father was the resident prison governor. There was an older sister, Ida Marion Kirkpatrick (1866 - 1950) who also became an artist.

Ethel had the broader art education, studying at the Royal Academy Schools and the Central School of Arts and Crafts where she studied enameling and woodcut, the latter presumably under Frank Morley Fletcher, before taking the well-worn path of British artists at the time to the Academie Julien in Paris. Some time after this Ethel moved to St Ives in Cornwall where the artist Lily Kirkpatrick lived and worked and where there was a growing colony of artists. Ethel Kirkpatrick also exhibited in the town. Ethel and Ida traveled to St. Ives for intermittent visits. Ethel produced paintings and woodcut work in colour, exhibiting frequently at the Alpine Club Gallery and with the Society of Women Artists, among other venues.

Both sisters moved back to the family home, The Grange at Harrow, in 1906. In addition to the time spent in St Ives, Ethel and Ida associated themselves with the arts colony at Walberswick, with visits over a twenty year period. Recent research by Charles Clarke has established that a colour woodcut by Ethel entitled 'Mounts Bay' was illustrated in 'The Studio' of 1917, indicating that she did work in Cornwall.

Ethel exhibited at the Alpine Gallery, SWA, Beaux Arts Gallery, GI, ISSPG, RA, RBA, RI, the Colour Woodcut Society, the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, SWA and the Society of Artist Printers in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Her work was reproduced in The Studio, 1917 and she was also a member of the SGPIC. Examples of her work are in the collections of the BM, Hunterian, Glasgow and the V&A

Ethel Kirkpatrick died in Holborn in 1966 outliving her sister Ida by 16 years.

Drawn from:
Adventures in the Print Trade and other sources