Inspiring Women Artists @ Marchmont 2022

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Marchmont House



TD10 6YL

United Kingdom

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Inspiring Women Artists @ Marchmont - Legacies of Great Women Mural Painters and Artists of the Late 19th Century

About this event

A celebration of inspiring women mural painters and artists of the late 19th Century, focusing on Phoebe Anna Traquair, Mary Seton Watts, Louisa Waterford and the women artists of the Pre-Raphaelite ‘Sisterhood’.

- - Kindly sponsored by Lyon & Turnbull + Arts & Crafts Tours --

-- In partnership with Royal Scottish Academy (RSA), Mansfield Traquair Trust & Womens Fund Scotland --

This all-day event considers the important influence these artists had on their contemporaries and future generations, by retelling their stories, re-establishing their reputations and considering their artistic legacies.

Speakers include: Dr Elizabeth Cumming (Honorary Professor in History of Art at the University of Edinburgh, Curator and Independent Scholar), Dr Sally-Anne Huxtable (Head Curator of The National Trust and formerly Principal Curator of Modern and Contemporary Design, Post 1850, National Museums of Scotland), Dr Jan Marsh (Curator, ‘Pre-Raphaelite Sisters’, National Portrait Gallery, London), Kirsty Stonell Walker (Pre-Raphaelite Art Historian), Sandy Wood (Collections Curator, Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture, Dr Louise Boreham (Independent Researcher), Sandra Pollard (Lecturer in History of Art) and Dott.ssa Julia Alexandra Mee (Artist and Art Historian). The event will be opened by Sir John Leighton (Director General of the National Galleries of Scotland), co-chaired by Dr Elizabeth Cumming and the Panel Discussion will include Jane Adams (SACI - Studio Arts College Florence and formerly Director of Partnerships for Advancing Women Artists, Florence).

IMAGE: Phoebe Anna Traquair, The Awakening of the Ten Virgins, South Chapel, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 1895-6 © Mansfield Traquair Trust - All Rights Reserved

Thank you to the kind supporters who help make it happen, in addition to supporting the funding of apprentice/ bursary positions & extra trimmings at the event.

Please note this event was originally scheduled for Saturday 10th April 2021 but postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Sponsored by: Lyon & Turnbull & Arts and Crafts Tours

Lyon and Turnbull: Operating since 1826, Lyon & Turnbull are one of the longest established fine art and antiques auction houses in the United Kingdom. In the 21st century, we combine dedicated personal advice and attention with innovative, thoughtful marketing and a deep understanding of the world of art and antiques to offer an unparalleled auctioneer service.


Arts and Crafts Tours: With over 25 years of experience, we offer personalized, meticulously-crafted small-group tours of 19th- and 20th-Century art and architecture in Europe and America.


In Partnership with: Royal Scottish Academy (RSA), Mansfield Traquair Trust & Womens Fund Scotland




** Provisional & DRAFT running order**

9:30 Registration and Coffee

10:00 Welcome and Introduction

Hugo Burge

Sir John Leighton

Dott.ssa Julia Alexandra Mee

10:15 Women Muralists in Fin-de-siècle Scotland: an Introduction

Dr Elizabeth Cumming

10:30 Louisa Waterford’s Murals at Lady Waterford Hall, Ford

Sandra Pollard

11:00 Scotland’s Botticelli: the Experimental Career of Phoebe Anna Traquair

Dr Elizabeth Cumming

11:30 COFFEE - included

11:50 Inspiring Techniques: ‘Edinburgh’s Sistine Chapel’ and the Marchmont Mural Cycle

Dott.ssa Julia Alexandra Mee

12:20 Short Film ‘The Making of the Marchmont Mural Cycle’, Falcon Productions

12:30 Highlights Tour of Women Artists in the Collection, including the Marchmont Mural Cycle

1:00 LUNCH - included

2:00 Mary Seton Watts and Mural Decoration of Chapels

Dr Louise Boreham

2:30 ‘The Drama of the Soul’: Spiritual Evolution in the Art and Design of 4 (1852-1936).

Dr Sally-Anne Huxtable

3:00 ‘Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang': The Evolution of Pre-Raphaelite Women Artists

Kirsty Stonell Walker

3:30 TEA - included

3:50 Everlyn de Morgan – Pre-eminent Pre-Raphelite

Dr Jan Marsh

4:20 RSA - (title tbc)

Sandy Wood and Victoria Clare Bernie

4:50 DEMONSTRATION of Traditional Mural Techniques by Contemporary Makers


Scagliola: form of plaster which imitates marble or precious stone by Cristina Beretta


Including: Jane Adams

6.00pm DRINKS PARTY - for all attendees

7.00pm ** Drinks Party Ends **

*** End of event ***

7.15pm Speakers Dinner ** invite & ticketed only **

** Limited accommodation available for booking at Marchmont & locally **

** Please enquire about transport to and from Edinburgh in the morning and evening - subject to demand **

N.B. Please note that this programme is provisional and based on the availability of the speakers and is therefore beyond the control of the organisers Marchmont Farms Limited. We reserve the right to make any changes to the advertised program that may prove necessary. In this instance substitute speakers may not address the same topic as that advertised. Any such changes will be communicated as early as possible.


Jane Adams, SACI - Studio Arts College Florence and formerly Director of Partnerships for Advancing Women Artists, Florence, she is a consultant for high profile projects and events outside Florence. She is dedicated to safeguarding and restoring works of art predominantly by women artists whose works are languishing in State storehouses and churches. Through research, restoration and exhibition AWA is rediscovering a vital part of forgotten cultural and creative heritage and making it 'Visible'" whilst also bringing the stories of these artists back to life.





Dr Louise Boreham is a retired college head of department, who embarked on a rewarding second career in 1980 as an art historian after she saw a newspaper article, which mentioned her grandfather, Louis Deuchars, a sculptor, who died years before she was born. Her research into his life and work became a PhD thesis, completed after early retirement from the college. She has published numerous articles, contributed to books, radio and TV programmes and given many lectures to a wide variety of interest groups. Her latest publication is Mary Seton Watts and the Compton Pottery (May 2019) with Hilary Calvert.

Hugo Burge is Director of Marchmont Farms Ltd, leading efforts to bring Marchmont to life as a home for makers and creators, after a 7-year restoration project. With a background in digital business and an interest in the Arts and Crafts, he is keen to find a balance between these different worlds and support sustainable creativity across them. He is a Patron of the Borders Art Fair and a Trustee of Wasps_ studios, both social enterprises that support artists and makers in the Scottish Borders. Hugo has a passion for the creativity, design and technology that shape our future.

Dr Elizabeth Cumming is an historian of Scottish art and design and an honorary Fellow at the University of Edinburgh which awarded her doctorate on Phoebe Anna Traquair in 1987. In the 1980s she was the first Keeper of Edinburgh’s City Art Centre, and throughout the 1990s she taught design history at Edinburgh College of Art. Her many books include studies of the Arts and Crafts movement, twentieth-century Scottish painting and modern tapestry. Her new book on Traquair is to be published by the National Galleries of Scotland in 2020.

Dr Sally-Anne Huxtable is Head Curator of the National Trust. She was formerly Principal Curator of Modern and Contemporary Design at National Museums Scotland where she curated the new permanent gallery Design for Living (1851-1951). Previously she was Lecturer in Design History at Northumbria University (2010-2013), and Research Associate at Dallas Museum of Art (2008-2010).

Sir John Leighton, Director-General, National Galleries of Scotland studied Fine Art at the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art, and History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art. From 1986 to 1997 he was the Curator of 19th-century paintings at the National Gallery in London. From 1997 to 2006 he was Director of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam where he was responsible for the world’s most important collection of Van Gogh. Sir John was appointed Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) in 2006. NGS is one of the world’s greatest collections of Western European art and attracts over 2.5 million visitors annually. Sir John has curated numerous exhibitions and published on various aspects of 19th and 20th-century art.

Dr Jan Marsh, curator of Pre-Raphaelite Sisters (NPG 2019) will speak on the development and reception of the exhibition, and the culminating role within it of painter Evelyn de Morgan. After briefly considering the roles of model, helpmeet and muse, the talk will focus on the contribution of female artists to the Pre-Raphaelite movement and how future art historical accounts ought to present a widened, inclusive perspective.

Jan Marsh’s other credits include The Legend of Elizabeth Siddal, The Collected Letters of Jane Morris (with Frank Sharp), Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Painter and Poet, Black Victorians and, most recently, Aubrey Beardsley: Decadence and Desire.


Dott.ssa Julia Alexandra Mee is an artist and art historian specialising in traditional mural painting techniques. She is a former artist in residence at Marchmont House and was commissioned in 2017 to create and paint the Marchmont Mural Cycle in the Cupola Hall.


Sandra Pollard has an MA in Art History and has been an associate lecturer for the Open University, a lecturer in continuing education for Leeds and Liverpool Universities, as well as lecturing freelance for the Arts Society, the Art Fund, the National Trust and other similar organisations. One of her specialisms is women painters and as such she has researched Lady Waterford and her position in the nineteenth century art world.

Kirsty Stonell Walker has spent over twenty-five years study experience and has written the only biography of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's most notorious model and muse, Fanny Cornforth. In 2012, she updated the text, adding further appendices and illustrations, to cover all new research and material that has arisen since the publication of the first edition in 2006, including the BBC series Desperate Romantics. In 2014, she published a novel based on the life of Alexa Wilding, Pre-Raphaelite Muse and Woman of Mystery. Her novel We Are Villains All, published in 2015, is a murder mystery set around the lives of a Victorian poet and his best friend, a photographer. Published in the autumn of 2018, 'Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang' revealed the lives of Pre-Raphaelite models, muses and artists, illustrated by portraits by renown illustrator and artist, Kingsley Nebechi, alongside the wonderful original paintings.


Sandy Wood is the Collections Curator at the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture. He studied Fine Art at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen and Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. Since 2013 he has been the Collections Curator of The Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture, having started work at the Academy in 2003. He is responsible for all aspects of the management, care of, and access to the diverse and nationally significant collections of Scotland’s oldest surviving artist run institution. Sandy has published on the Academy and its collections and has curated numerous exhibitions, bringing to light a keen interest in relationships between the contemporary and the historic.

Most recently he co-curated the major exhibition 'Ages of Wonder: Scotland's Art 1540 to Now'; critically received as 'A landmark exhibition' (The Herald) and 'One of the most significant assemblies of Scottish art in the world' (Scottish Art News).


Cristina Beretta is a wall paintings conservator and scholar of the traditional techniques of Scagliola marble. She graduated in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brera, Milan in 1987 and since 2017 has trained in the techniques of Scagliola marble under the guidance of the last great master craftsman of Rima (Piedmont, Italy), Silvio Dellavedova. After many years of workshop practice, she now teaches the Scagliola techniques in her studio in Edinburgh in the Rima workshop. She designs and executes decorative interiors using very high quality materials referring on the application study of historical plasters and wall finishes based on lime and clay, tempera and casein. She has participated in important collective and individual exhibitions of Painting and she plans to organise a series of exhibitions of Scottish artists in Italy.


Susy Kirk is a painter who specialises in creating hand painted silk scarves to commission from her creative space ‘EKleKtiK’ at Platform Studios, Burntisland. She graduated with a First Class Honours degree in 3D Design from Bath Academy of Art in 1981, having completed her foundation year at St Martins School of Art. She then exhibited both her ceramics and textiles in London, Switzerland and Australia before teaching at the National Art School of Papua New Guinea. Her creative space ‘EKleKtiK’ is a memory-bank of books, artefacts and paintings gathered over 30 years spent living in Papua New Guinea, Laos, Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan and Italy. The dazzling colours of her mother's Phoebe Anna Traquair necklace, the colours and patterns of coral-reef fish, nomad embroideries and Asian textiles are filtered and reabsorbed into her hand-painted silk and wool textiles.



Duncan Parker - Falcon Productions , Director of PhotographyWorking across a variety of observation documentaries and wildlife series as a cameraman at the BBC Natural History Unit as well as a variety of wildlife series for Netflix, Amazon and Apple. Duncan developed a passion for documenting and producing films about craft and started a production company in Bristol - telling the stories of modern and forgotten crafts. The creation of this project allowed the film to follow Julia Alexandra Mee for over a year as she completed the Marchmont Mural Cycle.


Victoria Clare Bernie is a visual artist. Her practice is concerned with landscape and representation, with the picturing of geographies and histories, patterns of human and non- human occupation over time. Part documentary as art, part visual and acoustic fiction, Bernie’s work seeks out strange details from which to develop alternative histories, stories and landscapes as large-scale site-specific video installations in gallery and non-gallery sites, feature length and short films, single and multiscreen constructs, drawings, photo-works and texts.

She received an MA in Fine Art from Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art, a Postgraduate Diploma in Printmaking from Edinburgh College of Art and a Masters in Architecture History and Theory from McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada. Bernie has been the recipient of a Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residency Award, a Creative Scotland Visual Arts Artist's Bursary Award, a Film and Video Umbrella Project Development Award, Hope Scott Trust Awards, a British Council Canada Visual Arts Professional Exchange Grant, a Shetland Arts Trust Award, an Arts Trust of Scotland Award, a City of Edinburgh Visual Arts and Crafts Award, Scottish Arts Council Assistance Grants and a Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Studentship. She is the artist in residence at the Royal Scottish Academy Collections 2019-2020. In January 2020 her work will be exhibited as part of a group exhibition, ‘Mount Strange and the Temple of Fame’ curated by Wendy Law at Summerhall in Edinburgh. The exhibition runs between Friday January 24th and Sunday March 15th 2020


This event has been organised by Dott.ssa Julia Alexandra Mee in partnership with Hugo Burge, as a Director of Marchmont Farms Limited.

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Marchmont House



TD10 6YL

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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Organiser Marchmont House - a home to Makers & Creators

Organiser of Inspiring Women Artists @ Marchmont 2022

Marchmont House is an imposing 'Grade A' listed Palladian mansion built in 1750 and contains some of the finest Georgian and Arts & Crafts interiors in Scotland.

Situated at the heart of the Marchmont Estate near Greenlaw in the Scottish Borders, the house is only open to the public for a limited number of days each year, for tours and special events.

It was awarded the 2018 Historic Houses/Sotheby's Award for the recently completed seven-year restoration, which was described by the jury as "stunning".

The goal is now to bring the house alive as 'a home to Makers and Creators', celebrating innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.

Visit marchmonthouse.com for more information.

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