Saturday, October 18, 2014

Maud Lloyd is at home here...

“I am staying with Maud Lloyd, the artist, in her house at Inch, County Kerry. It is a strong two-story house built of stone and stands on a hill - the only house on the hill, with no other house in sight.  Far below stretches a whole countryside: the great strand of Inch, the Atlantic a-wash on its borders; the sand dunes; the deep inlet of the sea beyond and behind the sand dunes; the range of Macgallicuddy’s Reeks sharp-pointed against the sky. Maud Lloyd is at home here, for she loves to paint whole ranges of mountains, river-inlets, and meadows.“

Ella Young wrote this in her memoirs, Flowering Dusk, about her friend, Maud LLoyd.   She also describes an adventure the two of them had on Iona and it was Maud who painted Ella's portrait which in her later life she donated to the University of California, Berkeley.  This portrait is on the cover of the anthology of Ella's work, edited by John Matthews and myself and published by Skylight Press. 

I have been curious about Maud since "meeting" her in Ella's memoirs. I did a bit of digging around while living in Ireland and found a few notices from Dublin (1903 and 1904) papers of her exhibiting her work.  Recently I once again took up the hunt and now have a better picture of the artist's life.

Maud Young was born in Christchurch,  New Zealand in about 1870.  Her father, James Herbert Lloyd was an Englishman with a family in banking and the stock market, and a lineage that goes back to Edward I.  James seems to have made an attempt in the business world by going into partnership in Christchurch, but that was dissolved in 1863.  He then married Maud's mother, Elizabeth Mary Oakes, who had family ties to Dublin.  This may be what first brought Maud to Ireland.

Directly after Maud was born the family returned to London.  At least the mother and children returned because Maud's sister Edith was born there in 1872.  At this point I lost track of the family until the 1881 census for England that shows Maud and her sister living in London with Maud's paternal grandfather, James Farmer Lloyd. There is no trace of her parents and her older brother is listed in the census as a student at Oundle School in Northamptonshire.  Maud's parents seem to have dropped off their children and taken a runner.  Perhaps her mother died and her father did what he felt was best for them.  I have yet to discover this mystery. In any case, I think that Maud's unmarried aunt, Julia Lloyd, raised the two sisters. She leaves her estate to Maud and Edith when she dies in 1920. It is this probate record that informs me of Maud's full and legal name:  Georgina Frances Maud Mary Theresa Lloyd.

So Maud grew up and was educated in London. She came from a family of wealth and privilege and in the 1901 census for England she is listed as an "Artist - Sculptor" and Edith is listed as a "Musical Composer."  The Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts, Index of Exhibitors 1826 -1979, Volume II  (compiled by Stewart, Ann M., 1986) has a list of the paintings of Maud Lloyd that they showed.  The earliest exhibit was in 1887 and her address is given at the family home in West Kensington, London.  The two paintings,   A Lonely Home, Ireland  and Evening, Ireland  tell us that by 1887 Maud was already painting in Ireland. She may have been staying with her mother's family or she may have been on her own. 

In 1910, Maud has one painting listed in the catalog for an exhibit in Cork. The work is entitled Dalkey Rocks.  In 1912 she exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy a painting entitled  Portrait of Mademoiselle X  and I believe this is the portrait mentioned above of Ella Young.  Maud was known for her landscapes, not her portraits, and Ella's face is not in view.

This image is entitled The Old Village but I do not know its date.  It is the only example of her landscapes I have seen and was included in an auction this past July. 

Maud exhibited frequently with another woman, Elsie O'Keefe, and helped to erect her friend's tombstone when she died in 1948.  I have a feeling I will soon be exploring this artist, as well.

The 1911 census for Ireland, lists Maud as living on her own in Dublin - in St. Stephen's Green. She lists her occupation as "Artist."  

In 1912, Maud was arrested in Dublin for breaking windows as part of a demonstration demanding the vote for women. Maud served a 6 months prison sentence for her action in the name of women's suffrage.  As related by Maria Luddy in the Irish Times

   "Irish suffragists engaged in a militant campaign from June 1912, involving breaking windows in government buildings, and heckling at meetings..When the war ended [World War I], Home Rule for Ireland was on the statute book and in 1918 the British parliament, arguably because of womens war work, granted partial suffrage, confined to those over thirty with a property qualification, to women throughout the United Kingdom."

 Ella Young does not refer to dates in her memoir so it is hard to know exactly when Maud was living on Inch. But I have a feeling that she may have moved there soon after her prison term was over. In any case, she and Ella had adventures together, in Ireland and in Scotland. Based upon letters from Ella to other artists and writers I am quite certain she was very encouraging of Maud's art. Ella would leave for the United States in 1925 and her portrait by Maud came with her.

Maud died while living in an inn near Perth.  Was she only visiting or had she taken up residence there and, if so, why?  And what happened to all her paintings?

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