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Marjorie Bates was born in Melbourne, Derbyshire, being the younger daughter of George and Emily Bates. George Bates made a considerable fortune in the manufacture of mosquito netting which enabled Marjorie to live comfortably in later years although her paintings also sold well. The family soon moved to "The Grange" in Wilford, near Nottingham.
The picture below is set in a neighbouring garden that was owned by a friend of Marjorie.
Marjorie Bates studied at the Nottingham School of Art and under Jean Paul Laurens in Paris. She knew Laura Knight (nee Johnson) who married one of the tutors at the School of Art (Marjorie was also distantly related to Laura Knight), and Harold Gresley, who were both well known Nottingham artists.
She exhibited at the Royal Academy and other venues, and was a member of the Nottingham Society of Artists and the Pastel Society. Nottingham remained her home for the rest of her life, her studio being in the Nottingham Lace Market at one time.
Her output was quite prolific and her paintings, plus many drawings, were used to print postcards, greeting cards, calendars and book illustrations. Some were produced as framed prints and are often mistaken for original watercolours, pastels or drawings. They are often architectural or street scenes. Go to this page for more information and examples: Bates_Prints
Her paintings are mainly in watercolour (as in the picture left of Wilford) or in pastel (as below, which was first exhibited at the Royal Academy). Subjects include garden scenes, landscapes, architecture, street scenes, figure studies and portraits. Unlike many artists, she appears to have been willing to tackle almost any subject in any media. Some of her work is held by the Castle Museum, Nottingham.
During the First World War she joined the Red Cross and acted as a nurse in Malta. Unfortunately the man she intended to marry died in the war, but following the later break-
In later years she stayed in the continent quite frequently and the first picture above was probably done in the South of France. She also travelled to Rhodesia where she had relatives. Photographs of Marjorie Bates as a girl and sketching in later life are shown below.
The photographs above and other material on this page are reproduced by courtesy of Christine Larkin.
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