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Mary Potter (1900-1981)

Mary Potter (1900-1981)

Code: 10683


W: 58cm (22.8")H: 50cm (19.7")

£7,500.00 Approx $9493.67, €8751.46

Mary Potter (1900-1980)

Rain 1977

Oil on canvas

Signed and dated on reverse

Provenance: New Art Centre Sloane St, London, on two occasions.

Mary Potter was born Marian Attenborough in 1900 and grew up in Beckenham, Kent before attending The Slade School of Art where she was awarded first prize for portrait painting. She married Stephen Potter and initially they lived in Chiswick, where Mary was exhibiting with The London Group. In 1951 the family moved to The Red House, Aldeburgh. Six years later the marriage broke down and Mary swapped houses with her friends Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears and moved to Cragg House, from its beachside location the coastline and fishermen became her principal subjects. She later returned to The Red House, living in a studio in the grounds.

Mary Potter primarily worked in oils and on canvas, her style evolved to become increasingly ethereal, utilising paint thinners to layer tones which glow, her palette is often muted. She painted landscapes, portraits and still lives.


She exhibited widely with The New English Art Club and the London Group, was represented by leading galleries including Leicester Galleries, Tooth’s and The New Art Centre. In 1964 she had a retrospective at the Whitechapel Gallery. She was awarded an OBE in 1979, and in 1980 a major retrospective of her work was shown at the Tate Gallery and the Serpentine Gallery in 1980, the latter opened to great critical acclaim a few months before her death. 

She is represented by over fifty works in British public collections including Tate Britain and public collections in Australia, New Zealand and Canada