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Lot 5: * § MARY NEWBERY STURROCK (BRITISH 1892-1985) ‘CARNATIONS’ 27 x 20cm (103/4 x 8in)Platinum House
September 7, 2012
Edinburgh, United KingdomLive Auction
§ MARY NEWBERY STURROCK (BRITISH 1892-1985)
signed with initials in pencil lower right MNS, black ink and watercolour
27 x 20cm (103/4 x 8in)
The Fine Art Society, London
Edinburgh, the Fine Art Society 'Mary Newbery Sturrock: Flower Studies', 19th August - 9th September, 1978
Moffat, Alistair & Baxter, Colin, 'Remembering Charles Rennie Mackintosh', Lanark 1989, p.79
Mary Newbery Sturrock was the daughter of Francis 'Fra' Newbery (1855-1946), the Headmaster of the Glasgow School of Art at the time Mackintosh designed the new premises in Renfrew Street. Newbery and Mackintosh, and their families, became good friends and Mary Newbery was a frequent visitor to the Mackintoshes' house in Glasgow before they left the city in 1913. Mary was convalescing in Walberswick while the Mackintoshes were in the village in 1914 . She watched Mackintosh making some of his flower drawings and was inspired by them to produce her own studies in later life. In a conversation with Roger Billcliffe she stated that the appearance of Margaret's initials on Mackintosh's flower drawings merely indicated that Margaret was present when the drawing was made, not that she made any contribution to the drawings. There is no stylistic evidence of Margaret adding watercolour to these drawings (the most frequent reason given for the appearance of her initials) that are consistent with Mackintosh's own watercolour technique. Sturrock's theory is supported by the absence of Margaret Mackintosh's initials on some watercolours (see lot 28) and the presence of several sets of initials on some drawings, made when Mackintosh was accompanied by friends such as Herbert and Frances MacNair, John Keppie or Charles Macdonald, brother of the Macdonald sisters.