GWENDOLEN PARNELL

One of the most successful of the pottery modellers of the 1920s and 1930s was Gwendolen Parnell, one of the so-called Chelsea Potters, whose studio was in Paradise Walk, near the Royal Hospital. She had a good eye for the market and her series of characters from The Beggar’s Opera, made while it was enjoying a long run at the Lyric, Hammersmith, gained her much publicity and put her right in the public eye.

Her upper-class connections served her art well. She sold a piece to Queen Mary while still a student at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts and, when her career was established, modelled society figures including Lady Diana Cooper and Gladys, Baroness Swaythling.

This figure of Marlene Deitrich was featured on the front page of The Sketch in 1933.

2 thoughts on “GWENDOLEN PARNELL

    1. They lived in a different world from Leach & Co., linking themselves to the pottery modellers of the 18th century, Chelsea and Dresden, whose art was despised by the followers of Ruskin and Morris for its luxury and frivolity. It is amazing that they exhibited together at all, for they had little in common. What is more, they didn’t share the arts and crafts disdain for the factory and happily designed for Doulton and Worcester.

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