Portrait of Stephen Bone, the artist's husband by Mary Adshead

Portrait of Stephen Bone, the artist's husband by Mary Adshead



Portrait of Stephen Bone, the artist’s husband

Pencil and watercolour, squared for transfer

45 by 32 cm., 17 ¾ by 12 ½ in.
(frame size 62.5 by 48.5 cm., 24 ¾ by 19 in.)

Mary Adshead enrolled at the Slade School of Fine Art in 1921, when she was only 16. There she and Rex Whistler won the joint first prize in the Slade’s Summer painting competition in 1924 and as a result Henry Tonks arranged for them to undertake a joint mural commission at the Highway Boys’ Club in London’s East End. Following this success, she began to receive a steady stream of mural commissions, most importantly those in Liverpool University (1924) and for the British Empire Exhibition (1924) and for Lord Beaverbrook’s dining room (1928) and the Bank Underground Station (1929). She was soon established as a painter, decorator, painter of murals and illustrator, designing posters for London Underground, decorations for the British Pavilion at the 1937 Paris International Exhibition and designed stamps for the General Post Office.

In 1929 Mary Adshead married Stephen Bone, the son of the artist Sir Muirhead Bone. He had studied at the Slade at the same time as Adshead, leaving to become an illustrator and painter. The couple travelled extensively across Britain and Europe where he frequently painted outdoors in all weathers. He was an official war artist during World War II, specialising in Admiralty subjects, a post previously held by his father. He exhibited at the Fine Art Society, Leferve Gallery and Redfern Gallery.

Mary exhibited at the Royal Academy, New English Art Club, Society of Women Artists and Goupil Gallery and exhibitions of her work have been held at The University of Liverpool Art Gallery; Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield and Kingston upon Thames Art Gallery.